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2022 Spring Position Preview: Offensive Line

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This year the line will be a strength... right?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 20 Rutgers at Penn State Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Starters

Olu Fashanu, Landon Tengwall, Juice Scruggs, Saleem Wormley, Caedan Wallace

Heading into 2022, the offensive line will have some shakeups. Rasheed Walker, Eric Wilson, and Mike Miranda have all left, paving the way for some fresh faces up front.

Olu Fashanu will be entering his third season with the Lions, and appears to be in a good position heading into the spring. He may be tasked with the left tackle position vacated by Walker, though he’s got some flexibility, and could contribute elsewhere if needed.

Landon Tengwall, Juice Scruggs, and Saleem Wormley get my current nod on the inside, with Scruggs most likely at center. These three appear to be a pretty solid interior trio, and it’s likely they could shuffle around, depending on need. Tengwall in particular could find himself playing outside if the need arises, but he seems more natural at guard than tackle.

Caedan Wallace is back at right tackle, with the hopes that his experience starting there will start to pay some more dividends in 2022.

Perhaps Ready To Step Up

Bryce Effner, Nick Dawkins, Hunter Nourzad, JB Nelson

While the starting five may or may not play out as listed above, Penn State will mix in the backups as needed. They never quite found a groove with five starters in 2021, and you’d like to see the top five really take things over. But having experience, flexible backups can only help things.

Bryce Effner has been around for what feels like forever, and should provide backup options across the entire line. Nick Dawkins is entering his third year, and could make a capable backup interior lineman.

Hunter Nourzad transferred from Cornell, and may seek to follow in fellow Ivy transfer Eric Wilson’s footsteps. Nourzad appears to be a bit more of a technical specialist than Wilson, which could come in handy at a variety of positions. Last in this group is JB Nelson, the 2022 commit from Lackawanna CC. The Lions have had a string of successes from Lackawanna, and Nelson would love to be the next success story for Penn State.

We Shall See

Drew Shelton, Jimmy Christ, Ibrahim Traore, Golden Israel-Achumba

The reality is, almost any offensive lineman can work their way into the two-deep at this point. Given the lack of success up front in 2021, I’d have to think pretty much every position is up for the taking.

Drew Shelton is the highest rated offensive lineman in the 2022 class. While he likely won’t end up playing more than 4 games and thus preserving his redshirt, don’t be surprised if he gets some run this season.

Jimmy Christ, Ibrahim Traore, and Golden Israel-Achumba have all been with the team for several years, and are all 315-plus-pound former 3-star recruits. In a pinch, any/all of them could cycle in to the line and should at least be expected to hold their own. Though as we’ve seen from the Lions the last few years, sometimes even the best players can’t quite do that in the Penn State offensive system.