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Nittany Lions Reconnect With NFL Preseason Jersey Swaps

Within the last few years, jersey swaps have replaced the handshake as the modern postgame ritual between opposing football teams. In an effort to show appreciation and respect to opponents, NFL players often switch uniform tops at the end of each game with friends and former teammates in a gesture appreciated by fans and athletes alike.

During the NFL’s preseason this summer, several former Penn State football players gathered after each exhibition for photo-ops and jersey swaps. Here’s a closer look at this summer’s midfield reunions.

Blake Gillikin & Trace McSorley

Three-year Penn State teammates Blake Gillikin and Trace McSorley reunited following the New Orleans Saints’ visit to Baltimore for a matchup with the Ravens during the preseason’s opening week.

Courtesy of @PennStateFball

Both Nittany Lions performed as key pieces for their squads, but McSorley’s flock was able to edge out the Saints 17-14. The former Big Ten Championship MVP finished 11-for-18 through the air with 86 passing yards, while Gillikin booted three punts for a 47.3-yard average.

The Georgia native has seemingly secured the starting punter position as Thomas Moorsted’s replacement in New Orleans following his stellar preseason cycle. As for McSorley, the contest served as his last of the preseason after being sidelined with a back injury.

Lamont Wade, Zech McPhearson, Miles Sanders, Pat Freiermuth, & Marcus Allen

Five Nittany Lions, including two offensive and three defensive stars, gathered following the battle of the Keystone State at midfield of the Lincoln Financial Stadium in Philadelphia.

Courtesy of @PennStateFball

The Steelers edged out the Eagles 24-16 and were helped by the efforts of Pat Freiermuth and Marcus Allen on both sides of the ball. Freiermuth nabbed one reception for six yards in the winning matchup while Allen registered one tackle.

As the undisputed starter in the running back room, Miles Sanders received the night off for the Eagles to prepare for the regular season. Penn State transfer Zech McPhearson continued to shine on the defensive side on the ball by recording four tackles in the secondary.

Dan Chisena & KJ Hamler

Both products of Penn State’s wide receiving core from two seasons ago, Dan Chisena and KJ Hamler rekindled their bond after the Broncos’ 33-6 road victory over the Vikings.

Courtesy of @PennStateFball

Hamler exploded during the matchup for 102 receiving yards and a touchdown to establish the lead. The Broncos never looked back and continued to outgain the home squad in every statistical category.

Chisena did not record any stats in the losing effort, but he’s carved out a role as a special teams ace in the Twin Cities. Entering his second year in the league, Chisena will aim to break into the receiving rotation behind Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson.

Jason Cabinda, Marcus Allen, Lamont Wade, Pat Freiermuth, & Amani Oruwariye

The trio of Steelers once again posed with other Nittany Lion legends in Jason Cabinda and Amani Oruwariye. Although Oruwariye logged two hits in the game, he was unable to lockdown Pat Freiermuth’s receiving ability in the first half.

Courtesy of @PennStateFball

The former Big Ten Tight End of the Year had his breakout night against the Lions by catching two touchdowns from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

On the other side of the ball, Marcus Allen assisted on a sack and tallied two other tackles in the win. Neither Cabinda nor Wade recorded a stat in the prime-time battle.

Shaka Toney & Odafe Oweh

Both Nittany Lion starting defensive ends from last campaign switch jerseys following the Baltimore Ravens’ 37-3 blowout victory over the Washington Football Team.

Courtesy of @PennStateFball

Although Oweh didn’t make an impact on defense during the contest, he continued to impress with his speed and effort on special teams coverage. Toney, on the other hand, played a majority of the second half at defensive end and totaled one tackle in the game.

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About the Author

Connor Krause

Connor Krause is a sophomore from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania majoring in journalism. He is a lifelong Penn State football and basketball fan and enjoys rooting for Pittsburgh sports teams. In his free time, Connor can be found playing golf or pick-up basketball. You can follow his Twitter and Instagram @ckrause_31.

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