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Penn State Preseason Top 10: No. 6 (TIE) Michal Menet

Michal Menet day at BSD continues as the Nittany Lions starting center lands in a tie for sixth in our countdown.

Indiana v Penn State Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

It’s time for our annual season top 10! Each summer, the staff votes on its top 10 players ahead of the upcoming season. A first place vote is worth 10 points, second place is worth nine points, and so on. Because of a tie in voting, there is no number seven in this year’s countdown.

How He Got Here

Menet came to Penn State as an elite in-state recruit who was expected to be an anchor on the offensive line for years to come. While he hasn’t quite hit the heights that some imagined, Menet has proved a solid contributor for three seasons and now enters his redshirt senior season as one of the top centers in the country.

After redshirting in 2016 in order to put on weight and adjust to the speed and physicality of the college game, Menet made his debut as a redshirt freshman in 2017. He showed his technique and versatility, sliding across the line and playing various positions for the Nittany Lions.

He entered the 2018 season as the favorite to start at right guard, but a switch between he and Connor McGovern saw Menet move inside to center where he made 12 starts, but showed some issues adjusting to the new position. He made the position his own a year ago, starting all 13 games and being named a team captain. Menet was an All-Big Ten honorable mention selection at the end of season.

What to Expect in 2020

Should the 2020 season actually take place, Menet will be under the microscope while leading the way for new coaches Phil Trautwein and Kirk Ciarrocca. Everyone knows that Penn State, with an gluttony of riches in the backfield, wants to run the ball and that doing so successfully will rely heavily on the interior trio of Menet, Mike Miranda, and C.J. Thorpe.

His job in pass protection should be made a bit easier by Ciarrocca’s system that often focuses on the quarterback getting the ball out quickly. Menet will, however, be tasked with making checks at the line and ensure blitzers are not able to run free at quarterback Sean Clifford.

Under the tutelage of Trautwein, who excelled while coaching at Boston College, Menet has the chance to put himself on the map as one of the nation’s top centers. If the season does take place, there’s no reason for Penn State fans not to expect him to do so.