PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Countdown To Blue-White: Penn State’s Offensive Line Hopes To Continue Development

Penn State’s offensive line has been a focal point for the Nittany Lions over the years and usually dictates the team’s success in a given season. In the first two seasons under James Franklin, the offensive line was a target for scrutiny and was the equivalent of Swiss cheese as Christian Hackenberg was on the ground seemingly every play.

Last season, the O-line improved and was able to protect Trace McSorley en route to a Rose Bowl appearance. Although you can attribute some of its recent success and reduced amount of sacks to McSorley’s athleticism and ability to extend plays, the O-line provided McSorley ample time to throw when he stayed in the pocket. This unit hopes to continue momentum from last season into its 2017 campaign while replacing some veterans with new faces.

Penn State will lose several key lineman to graduation and the draft, including Paris Palmer, Derek Dowrey, Brian Gaia, Tom “Bigs Guns” Devenney, and Wendy Laurent. With their departures, Penn State will need to find replacements in the younger players on the team.

“The number one goal is to be more physical in the offseason. We want to be known as being more physical than any other group on the field.” redshirt sophomore Ryan Bates said.

Last season Bates split time between guard and tackle when several players in the rotation were injured. Bates has played primarily at left tackle throughout the spring and is feeling more confident after every practice.

“I’m doing really well at left tackle and I’m continuing to progress,” Bates said.

In addition to Bates, Steven Gonzalez, Zach Simpson, Connor McGovern, and Chasz Wright are expected to play big roles on the line this season. Last year McGovern was a true freshman, while Simpson and Gonzalez were in their freshman year of eligibility following redshirt seasons. All three have learned and developed after their first full season on the field.

“We have a lot more experience than last year with people getting playing time. Our goal this year is to take the next step and be better than we were last season,” Bates said. “We are competing and making each other better everyday,”

Freshman Mike Miranda impressed both his coaches and his fellow teammates at spring practice.

“He’s a good young player but he has to gain weight. If he gains the weight he’ll be a really good player for us,” Bates said.

This unit will only continue to develop over the next several months. As the young players gain invaluable on-field experience, they will gain confidence and comfort in the system. In an ideal world, they won’t give up may sacks and the Nittany Lions will be hoisting a Big Ten Championship trophy again at the end of this season, but it’s going to take some quick transitions for this squad to be fully prepared.

“The biggest thing with offensive lineman is we need to have trust, and I trust the guys next to me,” Bates said. “We are a tight unit on and off the field.”

About the Author

Matt Castle

Matt is a junior Journalism major with a business minor from the great state of Massachusetts. He will be moving into a new apartment soon to make room for his fifth Lombardy trophy. His extremely unbiased top five athletes of all time include Tom Brady, Isaiah Thomas, Andrew Benintendi, David Pastrnak, and Diego Fagundez. If you really hate yourself, you can follow him @whitecastle22 or email him at [email protected]

Comments

More by Matt

James Franklin Discusses Depth And Program Stability After Tuesday’s Practice

James Franklin touched on a number of topics after Tuesday evening’s practice. Most notably, Penn State’s head man opined on his team’s depth, along with comments regarding his brand new contract extension.

ESPN Ranks Saquon Barkley Fourth-Best Player In College Football

Penn State Men’s Lacrosse To Host Towson In NCAA Tournament Opener

Athletics

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

The incident surrounding Marche’s death is “under investigation,” according to the Philadelphia police department.

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

Penn State Hockey’s Evan Barratt, Aarne Talvitie Participate In World Junior Summer Showcase

Ally McHugh Wins 400 Medley National Championship

Student Life

Penn State Parking Office Runs Into Student Permit Purchase Issues

Students were delayed hours on Tuesday afternoon while trying to purchase on-campus parking permits.

Girirajan Lab Seeks To Bridge The Gap Between Fly And Human Genomes

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

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.

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

The incident surrounding Marche’s death is “under investigation,” according to the Philadelphia police department.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Madden NFL 19 Ratings For Nittany Lions

For the second consecutive year, Sean Lee is the highest-rated Nittany Lion in the Madden video game.

Send this to a friend