Sports Illustrated Names Three Nittany Lions Among Top 100 In College Football

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As the offseason progresses, preseason accolades keep rolling in for Penn State football.

RB Saquon Barkley, QB Trace McSorley, and TE Mike Gesicki were ranked No. 5, No. 41, and No. 81, respectively, in Sports Illustrated’s top 100 players in college football coming off of the breakout 2016 season for the Nittany Lions.

Barkley quickly established himself as one of the best all-around running backs in college football last season, racking up almost 1,500 yards in 14 games for the Nittany Lions last season. The Coplay, PA, native’s combination of elusiveness, speed, and power helped him establish himself as a serious Heisman Trophy contender next season.

A year ago, Penn State fans were unsure who their team’s starting quarterback would be, but there’s no question about it now. After winning the starting QB job out of training camp, McSorley grew into his new role, and excelled in it, leading Penn State to a Big Ten title. Penn State’s No. 9 mixed up his passing and scrambling abilities throughout the game to keep opposing defenses on its toes.

Gesicki also was a massive part of Penn State’s success in the 2016 season by becoming one of McSorley’s favorite targets in the passing game. His size and jump-ball ability created a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses, and he is poised to have another huge season for Penn State in 2017.

Penn State football kicks off its season against Akron on September 2 at Beaver Stadium.

Photo By: Alex Bauer
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Mikey Mandarino

Mikey is a sophomore journalism major and staff writer for Onward State from Bedminster, NJ. Unfortunately, Mikey roots for the New York Jets and the New York Mets, but he is also a huge fan of the New Jersey Devils. He loves to watch sports, talk & write about sports, spend time with his friends & family, and listen to country music. If there isn't enough hockey content in your social media feeds already, you can follow Mikey on Twitter @mikey_mandarino, and on Instagram @mikey.mandarino. You can also contact him via email at [email protected]

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