PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Blue-White Game Position Preview: Offensive Line

Editor’s Note: This is the eighth post in a series previewing Penn State football, part of Onward State and’s countdown of insight and analysis about head coach James Franklin and his team heading into the Blue-White Game on April 12. Read the previous stories here.  

With the Blue-White game only 2 days away, Penn State football is almost here, even if it’s only spring ball. We will wrap up our Blue-White Game Position Preview with a look at the Nittany Lion offensive line for the upcoming season.

Key Losses: Center Ty Howle (graduation), guard John Urschel (graduation), tackle Garry Gilliam (graduation), tackle Adam Gress (graduation).

Key Returners: Guard Miles Dieffenbach (injured, most likely out for season), tackle Donovan Smith.

Incoming Players: Redshirt freshman tackle Brendan Mahon, redshirt freshman tackle Andrew Nelson, freshman tackle Noah Beh, freshman tackle Chasz Wright, freshman tackle Brendan Brosnan, freshman tackle Charlie Shuman.

Depth Chart: The offensive line will have a lot of question marks going into the Blue-White game. Every position (besides Donovan Smith’s blindside spot) will be up for competition. The biggest competition of the spring will most likely be the battle between redshirt junior Angelo Mangiro and redshirt sophomore Wendy Laurent for both the center and right/left guard positions. Redshirt junior Anthony Alosi should be a major contributor as well, but an assault charge stemming from a January incident leaves his status on the team up in the air. Brendan Mahon could also start at guard if he loses out to Nelson or vice versa. There could potentially be some interchanging on the line to accommodate the loss of Dieffenbach and the overall lack of depth and experience.

Player To Watch: Redshirt junior tackle Donovan Smith. He is going to be the anchor for Christian Hackenberg this season, as he is not only the most experienced player on the offensive line, but is also easily the most talented. Listed at a massive 6-5, 322 pounds, Smith can hang with the best in the country, and could have a great season.

Prediction: The offensive line will dictate a lot for Penn State’s offensive potential this upcoming season. If the line comes together and meshes as a unit, running lanes will be opened, Hackenberg will have time to make plays in the pocket, and points will be scored. However, if the unit cannot play consistently, there could be trouble. Hackenberg will get hit, and hit hard, and the stable of running backs will have nowhere to run. New offensive line coach Herb Hand has quite the task ahead of him, but if this unit comes together, they could be the key to Penn State’s success on the offensive side of the ball.

About the Author

David Abruzzese

David is a senior from Rochester, NY, nestled right in beautiful Western New York. He is majoring in Broadcast Journalism, and as an avid sports fan, he passionately supports the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. He is the first Penn Stater from his family, and couldn’t be prouder to represent Penn State University. In his free time, he likes to alpine ski, and play golf. You can follow him on Twitter @abruz11, and can contact him via email at [email protected]


More by David

So Long, And Goodnight: David Abruzzese’s Senior Column

It’s been a hell of a ride, folks. Senior staffer David Abruzzese rides off into the sunset with his senior column.

Saquon Barkley Mum On NFL Future; Relishes Fiesta Bowl Opportunity

DOTD: Nittany Lion Catches Pass At Fiesta Bowl


Penn State Women’s Volleyball Releases 2018 Schedule

Russ Rose’s Nittany Lions won’t play a single home match in September, electing to test themselves against teams like Stanford and Oregon early in the season.

Penn State Hoops Alumnus Joonas Suotamo’s Journey To Becoming Chewbacca Featured On ESPN’s ‘E:60’

Evaluating Tony Carr’s Performance At The 2018 NBA Draft Combine

Penn State Hockey Commit Evan Bell Wins Clark Cup With USHL’s Fargo Force

Center Ludvig Larsson Transfers To Penn State Hockey From Merrimack

Student Life

Penn State Esports Wins Tespa Collegiate Hearthstone Championship

With two Penn State Esport teams in the top eight, the odds of winning the National Championship were ever in our favor.

Road And Utility Work Impacting Penn State This Summer

Where Do Penn Staters Move After Graduation?

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Predicting Penn State’s 2018 Kickoff Times

As the Nittany Lions have ascended back into college football’s elite, they’ve taken the field at night more often in the past few years and avoided the dreaded early kickoff.

We Are Royalty: Meghan Markle Is A Penn State Fan

Penn State fans are everywhere, even in the British royal family.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Penn State Esports Wins Tespa Collegiate Hearthstone Championship

With two Penn State Esport teams in the top eight, the odds of winning the National Championship were ever in our favor.

Send this to a friend