Penn State’s new-look offense was nearly unstoppable in the second half last season, and almost all of the main characters are back.
Chris Hummer of 247Sports compared the Nittany Lion attack to that of the Golden State Warriors Monday. Alabama’s defense and head coach Dabo Swinney rounded out the hypothetical collegiate team.
Hummer likened quarterback Trace McSorley to Steph Curry, as both do most of their damage from deep and are excellent distributors, making sure everyone gets involved. Saquon Barkley was called the Kevin Durant of Penn State’s offense — a rare physical specimen who can beat opponents in any manner of ways. McSorley and Barkley are ready for the spotlight that comes with being one of the nation’s top pairs of playmakers.
The Nittany Lions can be expected to take a step forward in Joe Moorhead’s second year calling the shots — returning nine starters from a unit that finished second in the Big Ten in total offense behind Ohio State. Rising seniors Mike Gesicki and Tyler Davis proved extremely reliable in pressure situations last fall, drawing comparisons to Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, respectively.
Barkley and McSorley have had busy schedules this summer before returning to campus, as Penn State’s star running back filmed an episode of Sport Science, which will air sometime this fall. McSorley served as a counselor at last week’s Elite 11 Finals in Redondo Beach, Calif., where he went through a pro-day type workout and gave some tips to the next generation of college quarterbacks.
Penn State returns a stacked group of skill players to complement its Heisman hopefuls, with much-improved depth along the offensive line and a loaded receiving corps. There’s no telling how much better Moorhead’s bunch could be in 2017.