John Urschel Off To Hot Start In Rookie NFL Season
John Urschel has only started two NFL games, but the genius Nittany Lion already has a name for himself in the NFL.
Holding down left guard for the Baltimore Ravens in place of the injured Kelechi Osemele, Urschel’s impressed coach John Harbaugh in consecutive wins.
“He’s stepped in, and it’s pretty hard to predict for a rookie to come in and play the way he’s played at left guard,” Harbaugh said, according to the Baltimore Sun. “He deserves it, he works really hard, and he loves football. He studies the game.”
According to advanced statistics from Pro Football Focus, Harbaugh’s evaluation is correct. The rookie led rushers 12 times in his first start against the the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a total of 86 yards, and 12 more times for 44 more yards against the Atlanta Falcons this past Sunday. He is part of a line that let quarterback Joe Flacco get sacked only once over the last two games.
Urschel was picked in the fifth round of this year’s NFL Draft after an All-Big Ten year, starting the season third on the Ravens’ depth chart at left guard and center. He moved up the ranks in little time. It’s unclear what Urschel’s role will be moving forward for the 5-2 Ravens, but it’s good to know another rookie from Penn State is turning heads in the pros.
“He’s getting what he’s earned,” Harbaugh told The Sun.
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The Nittany Lions snapped a two-game losing streak with a close victory over Indiana in Bloomington.
Toney finished the game with four sacks, including a crucial one on the Hoosiers’ final drive of the game late in the fourth quarter.
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