OFFENSIVE LINEMAN HUNTER NOURZAD
Hunter Nourzad could be playing in NFL preseason games right now if he wanted to. Last season, Nourzad was one of the best offensive linemen in the Ivy League and had a NFL Draft grade following his season at Cornell.
Nourzad, however, decide to enter the NCAA Transfer Portal instead of going pro. After making an official visit to a trio of Big Ten schools, the Nittany Lions beat out Iowa and Illinois to land Nourzad.
Due to the COVID year Nourzad brings two years of eligibility to Happy Valley. Throughout the spring and into fall camp Nourzad has been battling Salem Wormley for the starting job at right guard, while also repping at center.
People are going to compare Nourzad to Eric Wilson. While it is understandable, it is also a lazy comparison. Yes, both came to Penn State from an Ivy League school but that’s where the comparisons end. Wilson, unlike Nourzad, did not have a NFL Draft grade leaving Harvard. Additionally, Nourzad is a superior athlete with better length on the offensive line. Even if it is not as a start, Nourzad should be a key contributor on the offensive line this season.
DEFENSIVE END CHOP ROBINSON
When Chop Robinson entered the transfer portal he was not a new name to Penn State coaches or fans. In college, Robinson was a five-star linebacker recruit out of the Washington D.C. area who made multiple visits to Penn State before committing to Maryland.
Last season, Robinson was a mid-season Freshman All-American via ESPN. He flashed at times with the Terps, picking up a pair of sacks and 2.5 tackles for a loss. Following the season he entered the transfer portal and chose the Nittany Lion.
Robinson brings three years of eligibility to Happy Valley. He was expected to play a big role as a pass rusher this season, but has been even further ahead than was expected when fall camp started.
Robinson will play a big role for the Nittany Lions this fall, especially in pass rushing situations. That said, with how much he has flashed in camp he may work his way into a starting role. Regardless, he should be a terror for opposing quarterbacks for at least the next two seasons.
WIDE RECEIVER MITCHELL TINSLEY
Very quietly, Mitchell Tinsley was one of the most productive wide receivers in the FBS last season. Playing for Western Kentucky, Tinsley had 87 receptions last season for 1,402 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Now Tinsley brings his talents to Happy Valley where he will he will start on the outside and look to form one of the best 1-2 wide receiver punches in the Big Ten, potentially even the entire FBS, with Parker Washington.
After arriving on campus Tinsley became a roommate of Sean Clifford. This should help Tinsley and Clifford already have great chemistry together on the field. Look for Tinsley to be one of the most productive receivers in the Big Ten this season.