The regular season might not have gone Penn State’s way, but the offseason is off to quite the start as rising redshirt junior left tackle Rasheed Walker announced that he will be back in Happy Valley for his fourth season.
The 6-foot-6, 310-pound Walker projected to be a mid-round draft pick, but with the chance to improve his draft stock into first round territory, he decided to come back for another season.
With Walker’s return, it gives Penn State a ton of experience on the blindside — Walker is a two-year starter, having started the last 22 games for the Nittany Lions at left tackle. Each year, Walker has gotten better and better, making steady improvements to his game. If those improvements continue, next season could be (should be?) an accolade filled season for Walker.
We’ll have way-too-early projected depth from yours truly in the next week or two, but Walker is a stone-cold lock to start at left tackle, and really raises the ceiling for the Nittany Lions’ offensive line. Walker and Caedan Wallace on the outside, with Des Holmes at left guard, and Mike Miranda and Juice Scruggs slotting in at center and/or right guard? That’s the makings of a very nice offensive front.
From a big picture perspective, it’s great to get some of these 50/50 NFL draft declarations back. Of course, James Franklin isn’t in the “I want a 20-year-old to turn down life-changing money business” but in the case of Castro-Fields, Brisker, Dotson, and now Walker, their moves to return make sense. And while they aren’t returning solely because they want to go out on better terms than 4-5, I think that will be something that’s on their minds as they work throughout this offseason.