PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Linebackers Who Will Be Counted On In Wake Of Ben Kline Injury

With last night’s news that rising redshirt junior linebacker Ben Kline will miss significant time with a torn achilles tendon, it becomes even more important for other players to step up in the rotation.

With rising redshirt senior Mike Hull firmly cemented as the starter in the middle, Kline was the favorite for a starting outside linebacker spot this fall after finishing last season with 18 tackles and a pair of sacks, despite having his season cut short in November due to shoulder surgery.

It seems very unlikely Kline will be able to play in 2014, as torn Achilles tendons take about six months to heal, and a similar injury kept Brad Bars sidelined for all of last season after he suffered it in July 2013. Here is a brief look at some of the players who will need to step up production this season as an already thin linebacking corps gets even thinner.

Nyeem Wartman

(photo via Bobby Chen/OS)

Redshirt sophomore Nyeem Wartman: 

Last season, Nyeem Wartman began to resemble the player who came in with so much hype as a freshman back in 2012. He didn’t let fans down in his first full season on the gridiron, becoming a factor against the run and finishing up with 28 tackles and a sack.

However, his presence on the outside will be counted on even more with Kline unavailable. Although he showed up in some big games, Wartman will need to be more consistent this fall — he recorded a total of just four tackles in Penn State’s last three games.

10915334784_3aeec3254d_o

(photo via puffclinty/Flickr)

Sophomore Brandon Bell:

Bell is riding a wave of momentum into this season, as he caught fire with 12 tackles in the Lions’ last two games. That type of consistency would be very important to the stability of the Nittany Lions’ linebacking corps. Bell is going to have to produce at a high level to make up for the lack of depth.

Luckily, the 226-pound redshirt sophomore has the ability and tenacity to be a tackling machine, and seems to be progressing at just the right time. Look for him to make an impact early.

dasjdf

(photo via GoPSUSports)

Junior Matthew Baney: 

Matthew Baney is a State College lifer, St. Francis (Pa.) transfer, and now crucial for the depth of the Nittany Lions’ linebacking corps. The walk-on has had a great spring, highlighted by his 28-yard interception that was returned for a touchdown in the spring game. Baney also has been taking reps with the starters for a portion of spring practices while Nyeem Wartman nursed a minor injury, according to PennLive.

He has some experience, and seems ready for the challenge. Baney might be a few spots down the depth chart, but with Kline’s injury, he will definitely be counted in certain situations this season.

wooten

(photo via GoPSUSports)

Redshirt sophomore Gary Wooten: 

Despite rarely seeing the field last season, Gary Wooten will be an important role player on the outside. He is in the mix for a starting job alongside Brandon Bell and Nyeem Wartman, but no matter who starts, Wooten will be counted on to produce.

The 6-foot-3, 237-pound redshirt sophomore has also been a player catching the eye of many around the program throughout the offseason. He becomes one of the main role players in the linebacking rotation this fall, and should turn some heads with his on field performance.

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]

Comments

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

Athletics

Shea Moyer Lifts Penn State Women’s Soccer Past West Virginia 1-0

Sophomore midfielder Shea Moyer scored the game-winning goal in the 80th minute of a rainy season opener at Jeffrey Field.

Penn State Women’s Soccer Poised For Strong 2018 Season

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Student Life

Start The Semester Off Right With These Welcome Week Activities

Don your brightly-colored college shirt and officially begin your Penn State career with these Welcome Week activities.

Nike Releases New Penn State Sneakers

Penn State Parking Office Runs Into Student Permit Purchase Issues

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.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Start The Semester Off Right With These Welcome Week Activities

Don your brightly-colored college shirt and officially begin your Penn State career with these Welcome Week activities.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Assessing Penn State’s Front Seven Following Tuesday’s Medical Retirements

Penn State’s defensive line rotation will be shaken up following Ryan Buchholz’s medical retirement from football, while the coaching staff is letting the linebackers duel it out during camp.

Send this to a friend