PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Training Camp ‘Kings’ Brandon Polk, Garrett Taylor Eye Increased Roles

Redshirt sophomores Brandon Polk and Garrett Taylor enjoyed tremendous training camps and should see extended action as reserves Saturday versus Akron.

Polk missed nearly the entirety of last season due to injury, but his request for a medical redshirt was approved on July 11. The 5-foot-9, 175-pound Polk was listed Tuesday as the backup to both DaeSean Hamilton at the slot “H” receiver and Miles Sanders at kickoff returner on Penn State’s first depth chart of the season.

Polk started his first game as a Nittany Lion on the road at Temple in 2015, flashing his difference-making speed with 50 rushing yards on two jet sweeps in that tough-to-stomach game. Now healthy, he’s easily the most underrated skill-position player on Penn State’s offense right now.

He said he focused most on his route-running and execution this summer, crediting DaeSean Hamilton for helping to mold him into the best player he can be. Polk and quarterback Trace McSorley were high school teammates, so he knew what everyone else came to find out last season long ago.

“My freshman year before I knew I was gonna transfer over to [Briar Woods], that’s when I figured out he was a winner,” Polk said. “They had won back-to-back state championships at that time.”

Polk (10) is one of many candidates to stretch the field for Penn State’s offense this season.

After playing primarily on special teams in 2016, Taylor is now the third strong safety behind Troy Apke and Nick Scott and will likely get some solid time on defense in the second half against the Zips. He said the game has really slowed down for him in his third year on campus.

“I think my knowledge of the game, being able to pick up the playbook,” Taylor said of his strengths. “It allows me to play faster and make split-second decisions on the field.”

The Richmond, Va., native was a high-priority recruit for blue blood programs across the country, initially committing to Brady Hoke’s staff at Michigan before being sold on the Nittany Lions during his official visit for the Michigan State game in 2014.

Despite watching a 34-10 loss on Senior Day, Taylor saw the vision James Franklin had laid out for the future and immediately bought in. He suffered a torn ACL just before his senior season at St. Christopher’s School, spending his first season on campus getting back to full strength.

While James Franklin cited hamburgers as playing a part in Penn State’s chemistry and success last season in a great piece for The Players’ Tribune, Taylor and John Reid always get apple crisp on Friday nights at the team hotel.

The Nittany Lions open their season Saturday at noon on ABC.

About the Author

Ethan Kasales

Ethan’s a senior journalism major who grew up in Lemont, a few minutes from campus. When he’s not covering Penn State sports, you can usually find him golfing or teaching snowboarding at Tussey Mountain. Feel free to email him at [email protected]

Comments

More by Ethan

Evan Barratt Invited To World Junior Summer Showcase

Evan Barratt, a rising sophomore center for the Nittany Lions, is one of 42 U.S. players heading to Kamloops, B.C., July 28-August 4.

Several Penn State Women’s Soccer Players Training In WPSL

Penn State Long Snapper Kyle Vasey Awarded Scholarship

Athletics

Cole Miller Misses Cut At U.S. Open

Miller finished the first two rounds of the U.S. Open at +12, missing the cut by four strokes.

Evan Barratt Invited To World Junior Summer Showcase

Several Penn State Women’s Soccer Players Training In WPSL

Top-100 Wrestler Flips From Pitt To Penn State

Maddie Elliston Named Penn State Women’s Soccer Captain

Student Life

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting At Beaver Stadium

If alumna Alex Perry hadn’t accidentally gotten into the wrong admissions line before a football game, she might never have met the love of her life.

Virtual Reality: Changing The Game At Penn State

Penn State Cracks The Top Ten In Niche’s 2018 Party School Ranking

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.

Freshman 101: How To Buy Football Tickets

Tickets go on sale for graduate students on Monday, June 18, followed by seniors on Tuesday, juniors on Wednesday, sophomores on Thursday, and freshmen on Friday.

Hackenberg Waived By The Raiders

Hackenberg was waived by the Raiders Tuesday only a few weeks — 21 days, to be exact — after he was traded to Oakland by the New York Jets.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting At Beaver Stadium

If alumna Alex Perry hadn’t accidentally gotten into the wrong admissions line before a football game, she might never have met the love of her life.

Send this to a friend