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There’s no shortage of news as the Nittany Lions prepare to hit the gridiron.

NCAA Football: Penn State Blue White Game Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

We Talkin’ Playoffs Micah Parsons lead the team with tackles as a true freshman in 2018, but he’s looking ahead to much bigger things this season. Parsons feels much more at home in the Penn State defense heading into his sophomore season, and much further along than at this point last year when he was participating in spring ball as an early enrollee. He also likes what he sees around him, making him confident the Nittany Lions are poised to make its first College Football Playoffs appearance by 2020. Speaking of high expectations, Justin Shorter feels he can be the top freshman in the Big Ten this fall. After a tough season for the Penn State receiving crew in 2018, we’re more than ready to see a breakout season for Shorter.

Man in the Middle Jan Johnson has had quite the journey during his time in Happy Valley- from wrestler to football player, from buried on the depth chart to starting middle linebacker, from walk-on to scholarship recipient. Now he takes on his latest role- experienced veteran mentor who will be showing the ropes to a group of ridiculously talented young linebackers.

Fresh Stable of Backs (Finally) During the 2016 and 2017 seasons, I wrote this sentence approximately 3,471 times on this site: “Penn State has depth at the running back position to spell Saquon Barkley and allow him to take a couple series off each game. Image Barkley with fresh legs running against a tired defense in the fourth quarter.” It never worked out that way, but it sounds like it could occur in 2019. Now say it with me...imagine a fresh Ricky Slade running at a tired defense in the fourth quarter.

Supa Reunion Half of Penn State’s Supa Six squad will be reuniting in Happy Valley during Blue-White weekend to discuss the business side of football. It’s safe to say Allen Robinson, Adrian Amos and Donovan Smith are doing quite well for themselves these days.

WE’RE GOING DANCING!! I’ve got some very big news for you all- it turns out that next year could be THE YEAR Penn State Basketball turns the corner and makes it to the NCAA Tournament. At least according to Joe Lunardi, who has the Nittany Lions as a 10-seed in the South region for the 2019-2020 tourney. Penn State did not make SBN’s way-too-early top 25, though, but all the usual suspects from the Big Ten are there.

Inset Vandals Joke Here Penn State will be hoping to avoid a week one scare for the second consecutive year when the Idaho Vandals come to Beaver Stadium on Aug. 31. However, Idaho’s chances for an upset have been greatly reduced as they will now be without its top returning defensive player.