One of Penn State’s perceived weaknesses coming into the spring was depth along the offensive line. According to a report by BlueWhiteIllustrated’s Ryan Snyder, it has suffered a loss to one of its most indispensable players.
Fifth-year guard Miles Dieffenbach has reportedly suffered a torn ACL, which will keep him out for all of the spring and summer, and possibly the entire 2014 season.
Dieffenbach was a mainstay along Penn State’s offensive line last season, starting in 11 of the Nittany Lions’ 12 games in 2013. He was expected to start at left guard in 2014, and be one of the anchors along the team’s offensive line.
If the report is true, it is a devastating blow for Herb Hand’s offensive line. He is one of Penn State’s only o-lineman to have any game experience and, along with Donovan Smith, was expected to protect Christian Hackenberg’s blind side.
This loss gives an unsure situation even more uncertainty. James Franklin had already moved two defensive linemen — Brian Gaia and Derek Dowrey — to the offensive line to help bolster the team’s depth. With the loss of Dieffenbach, Penn State may need to move another defensive lineman to the o-line, or it could mean that Franklin is forced to use an incoming freshman instead of giving them a redshirt.