Three Takeaways From Penn State’s Blue-White Game
Penn State’s annual Blue-White game Saturday offered fans a glimpse of what’s to come this fall, with the Blue squad winning 21-10.
Here are three takeaways from the team’s spring scrimmage, which saw an estimated 71,000 come out to Beaver Stadium. Only Nebraska, Georgia, and Alabama had more people in attendance at their respective games.
Tight End Continues To Be A Question Mark
After the game, offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne acknowledged depth at tight end was a bit of a concern this spring, as redshirt juniors Jonathan Holland and Nick Bowers both dealt with injuries.
Penn State’s tight ends combined for just three catches and 12 receiving yards on the afternoon, but walk-on Joe Arcangelo’s 3-yard touchdown grab from Jake Zembiec in the fourth quarter provided a nice highlight.
Arcangelo (41) celebrates his touchdown catch from Saturday’s game.
“I think we have good tight ends, I really do,” Rahne said. “I think we’ve got some guys who will surprise here. This offense works best when we have a great tight end.”
Just who exactly will follow in Mike Gesicki’s footsteps has yet to be determined.
Rahne said redshirt sophomore Danny Dalton, who had one catch for five yards, took some strides in his blocking and overall preparedness for the rigors of Big Ten football this spring. Once everyone’s healthy, it should be a solid competition during preseason camp, especially with true freshmen Zack Kuntz and Pat Freiermuth joining the fold.
Micah Parsons Is A Grown Man
Parsons arrived on Penn State’s campus this spring with enormous expectations, but the former five-star prospect has continued to impress in every conceivable manner. Parsons’ eight-tackle performance in his Beaver Stadium debut led the Blue defense, which was comprised mostly of starters.
After originally working at middle linebacker this spring, James Franklin and defensive coordinator Brent Pry elected to move him out to the Will, where they feel he has more potential to make an early impact this season.
There’s no doubt Parsons will play as a true freshman, but it remains to be seen how much of a role he’ll be ready to take on. Whether he’s used primarily in pass-rushing situations or has the opportunity to carve out a more significant job for himself will depend on how he prepares during summer workouts.
Offensive Line Picture Starting To Clear Up
The Blue team trotted out a starting offensive line comprised of Ryan Bates, Steven Gonzalez, Connor McGovern, Michal Menet, and Chasz Wright.
Menet, a redshirt sophomore, is the only one who hasn’t seen significant playing time for the Nittany Lions, but the extremely talented lineman from Birdsboro, PA, appears to have rounded the corner in his development.
Menet endured some bumps and bruises his first two years on campus, all while he adjusted to the physicality and mental demands of the college game. He said the minor setbacks turned out to be beneficial in the long run.
“If anything, it just motivated me to want to get where I am now, just working on my technique and all that stuff, because I knew that through better technique and fundamentals, that’s how I would get on the field,” Menet said.
Redshirt freshmen Mike Miranda and C.J. Thorpe will press Menet at guard this summer in what should be an all-out battle to make the two-deep. As a whole, Penn State’s offensive line hasn’t looked this promising in years.