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Stealing from the Enemies

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Let’s imagine a world where Penn State can steal one player from their opponents. Why? Because it’s the summer, and I like using my time to write about things that are nonsensical.

NCAA Football: Music Bowl-Kentucky vs Northwestern Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

I wrote this same article two years ago, and since it is once again summer and we are light on actual football news, this is the perfect opportunity to dust it off and use it. The premise is simple: I can take one player from each team on Penn State’s schedule, and place them onto Penn State’s roster. With that being the case, it doesn’t necessarily mean the best player from each team will be chosen — rather, the player that would help Penn State the most will be the pick.


KENT STATE
Contenders: WR Isaiah McKoy
Pick: WR Isaiah McKoy

With Penn State’s concerns at wide receiver, taking the 6-foot-3, 183-pound Isaiah McKoy is an easy choice. Just heading into his junior season, McKoy has already proven himself to be one of the best wide receivers in the MAC, garnering preseason First Team All-MAC honors after putting up a 93/1190/10 during his first two years at Kent State.

VIRGINIA TECH
Contenders: WR Tre Turner, OT Christian Darrisaw, LB Rayshard Ashby, CB Caleb Farley
Pick: CB Caleb Farley

The Hokies have quite a bit of talent, but First Team All-ACC cornerback Caleb Farley is the pick here. I like what Penn State has at cornerback already, but adding the 6-foot-2 Farley to the position group makes it a truly elite unit.

SAN JOSE STATE
Contenders: WR Tre Walker and LT Jack Snyder
Pick: WR Tre Walker

We’re going with a wide receiver once again, this time taking Tre Walker from San Jose State. He lacks elite size at just 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, but he was extremely productive with the Spartans in 2019, totaling 79 receptions and 1,161 yards.

NORTHWESTERN
Contenders: OG Rashawn Slater and LB Paddy Fisher
Pick: LB Paddy Fisher

Paddy Fisher had a bit of a down junior season — he had just 89 tackles, way down from the 117 and 113 he put up during his first two seasons. He also isn’t exactly blowing up players in the backfield: he has just 11 TFLs during the last two seasons. But I feel very good about a Fisher and Micah Parsons pairing.

MICHIGAN
Contenders: OT Jaylen Mayfield, DE Aidan Hutchinson, DE Kwity Paye, and DB Dax Hill
Pick: DE Aidan Hutchinson

The upside of Dax Hill as a safety was intriguing, but I’m taking best player here: that being defensive end Aidan Hutchinson. He had a productive sophomore season with 4.5 sacks and 10 TFLs, and at 6-foot-6, 278 pounds, he’s a nice compliment opposite the speed-rushing Shaka Toney.

IOWA
Contenders: C Tyler Linderbaum and LT Alaric Jackson
Pick: LT Alaric Jackson

Penn State doesn’t have a massive need at offensive tackle, but the talent of Alaric Jackson is too much to pass up. He was a Third-Team All-Big Ten performer last season, while Athlon Sports has him as a preseason First Team All-Big Ten for 2020.

OHIO STATE
Contenders: QB Justin Fields, WR Chris Olave, OG Wyatt Davis, CB Shaun Wade
Pick: OG Wyatt Davis

If there is one thing to know about Patrick Koerbler it is this: I am fiercely loyal. I will not run back to Justin Fields — who is a traitor — and turn my back on Sean Clifford. Can’t do it. Won’t do it.

So we’ll go with 2019 consensus All-American offensive guard Wyatt Davis. Thought about Olave here as well, but you can’t have too many All-Americans up front.

INDIANA
Contenders: WR Whop Philyor
Pick: WR Whop Philyor

Despite the fact this is the third wide receiver I am taking, Philyor is an obvious pick from the Hoosiers. He had a breakout season last year with 70 receptions for 1002 yards, and for the love of Pete his name is “Whop.”

NEBRASKA
Contenders: OL Brendan Jaimes, DT Ben Stille, CB Cam Taylor-Britt
Pick: DT Ben Stille

I’ll tell ya what, there’s not a whole lot of proven talent over in Lincoln — so much so that I’m going with Ben Stille who started just 2 games for the Cornhuskers last season. That being said, Stille was productive with his playing time: he ended the season with 3 sacks and 6.5 TFLs, which aren’t dreadful numbers for a back-up defensive tackle. Here at Penn State, that’s all he would be as well.

MICHIGAN STATE
Contenders: DT Jacub Panasiuk and LB Antjuan Simmons
Pick: LB Antjuan Simmons

While the Polish-speaking Panasiuk was intriguing, I’m taking another linebacker here in Antjuan Simmons. At 6-foot-0, 216 pounds, Simmons doesn’t have terrific size, but he plays well in space and is just an all-around good football player. You don’t rack up 90 tackles and 15 TFLs if you suck. Welcome to the team, Antjuan.

MARYLAND
Contenders: WR Dontay Demus and DB Nick Cross
Pick: DB Nick Cross

Speaking of programs with not a whole lot of proven talent, that brings us to Mike Locksley’s Maryland Terrapins. I’m going with safety Nick Cross here because he should be playing for Penn State anyway. Still not over that recruitment.

RUTGERS
Contenders: LOL
Pick: LOL

LOL