Following each season, the BSD staff votes on the 10 best players. A #1 vote is worth 10 points, a #2 vote is nine points, and so on. Today we continue our Top 10 series with the #1 vote getter: cornerback Kalen King.
When Penn State started its 2022 season, it knew it had one dominant cornerback in Joey Porter Jr., but there was some real hope that sophomore Kalen King would come on as the season went along. King enrolled early as a freshman and reportedly dazzled in spring practice and summer camp, but showed to be a little too handsy during games, picking up a slew of holding and passing interferences calls as a frosh.
Fast forward to his sophomore season and it took little time for King to show that his penalty-plagued nature was a thing of the pass. He still played aggressive, but now instead of PIs, it was PDs and INTs.
Going to be real tough for anyone to overtake Kalen King as PSU's best overall player heading into 2023. pic.twitter.com/h3RKMwYsdc— Poerbler (@Poerbler) January 19, 2023
30 tackles, 3 TFLs, 15 PDs, 3 INTs, 1 forced fumble, and 1 fumble recovery, all amounting AP All-Big Ten second team honors. Not too shabby for the second-year King.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about King’s game was the fact that it felt like he got better as the year went along. All three of those interceptions came from November on, and when Joey Porter Jr. went down with appendicitis that caused him to miss some games late in the season, King didn’t miss a beat being CB1. If anything, he showed that trying to attack him was a bad idea for opposing quarterbacks.
As the clock turns to King’s junior season, he’ll very likely top this list again when we do our preseason Top 10 Penn State Player rankings. Fresh off his tear to end the 2022 season, he has some real national juice now, and will be looked at as not only a first-team All-Big Ten contender but someone who will push for national awards too.
Let’s enjoy him while we have him, Happy Valley.