Ah, spring has sprung in Happy Valley and that means that spring football practices are underway for Penn State. While names like Sean Clifford and Nick Singleton will surely get plenty of buzz, let’s focus on Penn State’s second-year players who took a redshirt season in 2021. Some of these players might be battling for starting spots, while others might just be tapping the surface of what level of player they could be at Penn State.
LB Kobe King
The stoutly built 6-foot-1, 242-pound King got his first taste of action last season, seeing time in four games before James Franklin and Co. made the decision to preserve King’s redshirt. Now with Ellis Brooks and Jesse Luketa gone, King arguably has the inside track to start at the MIKE. He’ll be going up against redshirt sophomore Tyler Elsdon this spring, but that competition will likely go well into the summer.
OL Landon Tengwall
The most highly-touted prospect of the 2021 class, Tengwall took a redshirt season in 2021 after playing in three games. The most playing time he saw was in the Rutgers game, getting 66 snaps at left tackle due to a flu-ridden Rasheed Walker. All in all, it was a strong performance from Tengwall, and a good reminder of just why he was a borderline five-star prospect. While he doesn’t figure to play much of a part in the left tackle job this spring, we’ll probably hear that Tengwall is seeing first team reps at a few spots — notably though, guard.
S Zakee Wheatley
Wheatley was one of the more underrated prospects in the 2021 class, and that showed during his first season with the Nittany Lions. While he took a redshirt season, he was able to see time in four games at cornerback and on special teams. Although he’s made the move over from corner to safety, Wheatley is still a tantalizing prospect — plus athleticism to go along with a long 6-foot-2 frame? Yes. Yes, please.
WR Harrison “Tre” Wallace
A late flip from Duke, Wallace is one of the forgotten members of the 2021 class, but early reports are that he has the potential to break into the wide receiver rotation next year. A very good basketball player in high school, Wallace is just know focusing on football — something that was clear in his highlights. You could see the athleticism and speed, but he was a rather raw prospect. Now with a full season in the books, I’m interested to hear about the strides Wallace has made. This is one I’m buying stock in.
DE Davon Townley
Another forgotten member of the 2021 class, Townley didn’t commit to Penn State until the last day of the second signing period way back on February 3, 2021. But man, you want to talk about someone with a boatload of potential, look no further than Davon Townley. Like Wallace, he was a very good high school basketball player who is now solely focused on football. Raw for sure, but defensive line coach John Scott has a lot to work with in Townley — top-tier athleticism and a ridiculous frame at 6-foot-6, 268 pounds.