We just a few days over two months away from the Blue-White Game, which means that the beginning of spring practice isn’t that far away either. With practice No. 1 of spring just around the corner in a few weeks, now gives us a good time to look at some *players who could have big springs ahead of them.
*Freshmen not included. Sorry, Drew Allar and Nick Singleton.
TE Theo Johnson
I don’t mean to disrespect any of the other tight ends, but Theo Johnson only having 19 receptions of the 44 total receptions Penn State tight ends hauled in in 2021 is kinda... crazy. Yeah, let’s go with that: crazy. It’s just that when I look at Johnson, I can’t help but question, “Man, this isn’t going to be a situation where we waste him as a platoon tight end for the majority of his career, is it?”
I know he isn’t the most gifted blocker in the world, but it’s not like Brenton Strange and Tyler Warren are exactly handing out pancakes either. So I’m hopeful that in 2022, we see a larger role for Theo Johnson — and hopefully that begins to show during spring practice.
DE Zuriah Fisher
The defensive end room for Penn State is an interesting one. Having to replace Arnold Ebiketie and Jesse Luketa, the Nittany Lions will be relying on some jumps from a plethora of players: Smith Vilbert, Davon Townley, Rodney McGraw, and the player I am highlighting here — Zuriah Fisher.
A former linebacker, Fisher made the quick switch to defensive end once it was clear he was going to spend his college career north of 250 pounds. His first full season at defensive end was a quiet one: he played in just eight games and only recorded four tackles. But as a former four-star prospect, the hype for Fisher is real as he continues to adjust to defensive end. We’ll see just how much he has progressed this spring.
CB Kalen King
After enrolling early and impressing last spring, Kalen King had a hot-and-cold true freshman season. While just breaking into a deep cornerback rotation should be impressive enough, King wasn’t without his faults during the 2021 season, being called for quite a few holding and pass interference calls. Still, the arrow is absolutely pointing up for King, who is the odds-on-favorite to start at cornerback opposite Joey Porter Jr. I’m interested to see and hear how King’s game has grown — keeping that aggressiveness and passion he plays with, while not being to overly physical to where he is getting dinged for penalties.
What player are you most excited about this spring, BSD reader?