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Staff Picks: Which Special Teamer Should Wear No. 0 For Penn State Football?

Penn State football announced Wednesday night that it would select a member of its special teams to wear No. 0 this upcoming season.

The Nittany Lions’ decision comes after the NCAA announced in February that college football players can wear No. 0.

While James Franklin’s team hasn’t announced who it will select for the unique number, our staff had some ideas about which specialist should do the honors.

Gabe Angieri: Jordan Stout

Jordan Stout is the perfect Pen State specialist to wear No. 0. I don’t know about you, but when I hear “Penn State specialist,” I immediately think of the strong-legged Stout. He holds the program record for the longest field goal in a game, which was that memorable 57-yarder in 2019 against Pitt.

You’ll often see Stout booting the ball through the end zone with ease each time he kicks the ball off. Additionally, he has an impeccable flow. A specialist wearing No. 0 is gritty and pretty badass, and I think Stout fits that description perfectly. This is a no-brainer.

Ryan Parsons: Jonathan Sutherland

Jonathan Sutherland is a perfect fit to be the first Nittany Lion to wear No. 0. As a four-year player and a likely team captain, he possesses the leadership qualities to inspire his teammates.

This became very obvious when he received a racist letter from a Penn State “fan” criticizing his dreadlocks. The team was able to rally around him ahead of the Michigan game and put together a gritty win. Just like the video said, he represents the whole team and drives its culture. He’s also blocked two punts in one game, which certainly qualifies him as a “game-changer” on special teams.

Will Pegler: Keaton Ellis

While Ellis made some big plays as cornerback during his 2019 freshman campaign, the young defender also played an important role on punt coverage throughout the season. Along with that, Ellis was an exciting kick returner during his career at State College Area High School.

The cornerback’s athleticism make him a strong asset virtually anywhere for Penn State special teams, and I expect Joe Lorig to utilize him in some way this fall. If he does continue to play a role on that side of the ball, Ellis would be a great candidate for No. 0.

While he shuts down receivers on defense, why not let the State College kid be the first Nittany Lion to wear the number?

Matt DiSanto: Jake Pinegar

After leading an incredibly successful career with the Nittany Lions so far, Jake Pinegar is more than deserving of No. 0.

So far, he sits at No. 7 in program history with 109 extra points made, No. 10 in extra point percentage (.964), and No. 14 with 27 made field goals. Plus, he’s Penn State’s No. 14 scorer all-time with 190 points under his belt.

If Franklin and Co. are searching for a surgical, by-the-numbers special teamer to don the new threads, Pinegar is a great option.

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