Analyzing Penn State Football’s THON 2022 Pep Rally Routine
Despite a strong performance, Penn State football was unable to defeat men’s soccer for the THON Pep Rally title. Even still, the performance was noteworthy across the board.
For most, the performance likely appeared as just another addition to the Pep Rally proceedings. But for the trained eye, there was a lot of important material to analyze and unpack.
The Pep Rally, in reality, offered a peek behind coach James Franklin’s curtain as players showcased their athleticism, chemistry, and willingness to buy into the team’s mantras. As is tradition, the representatives of Franklin’s squad were relatively new to the team. Here were some of our biggest takeaways:
The football team’s attire was the first significant attribute of their performance. Of course, the players were dressed in their jerseys with unique numbers, but outside of that, there were very few deviations from a common uniform.
About 10 players wore long sleeves under their jerseys, sweatpants, sunglasses, and neck gaiters that covered half their faces. Clearly, this was an indication that the team has bought into Penn State’s messaging: no one is bigger than the team. Black shoes, basic blues, no names, all game.
The Nittany Lions’ decision to mask their individuality is an encouraging sign for the cohesiveness of next year’s unit.
How Many Players Can Backflip?
Wide receiver Harrison Wallace III, cornerback Kalen King, and safety Jaylen Reed all showed off their acrobatic prowess in the team’s performance by backflipping at least once.
It was unexpected development — one that begs the question: How many players can do backflips? How many other players have hidden talents?
Versatility is an important quality for any robustly crafted roster to possess. The capacity of so many players at different positions to successfully accomplish athletic feats serves as a good sign. This says no matter who the staff puts into the lineup, someone can get the job done.
Kalen King’s Near Miss
Late in the dance, sophomore Kalen King attempted an assisted flip with a teammate. There was some sort of miscommunication, enough that King was not able to completely pull it off.
What could have been a scary moment ended up being a positive one. King avoided injury when his teammate heroically adjusted his momentum and broke his fall in a softer manner.
In the face of adversity, this squad will not leave anyone behind. The bond between these players is palpable and that is conducive to positive output on the gridiron.
Jaylen Reed Can (And Will) Dance
In addition to being able to backflip, sophomore Jaylen Reed can dance with the best of them.
That’s exactly the type of attitude needed from a safety. Safeties are the the last line of defense for a team, if they’re not willing to mix it up with an opposing offense, they’re not capable of doing the job. Jaylen Reed made a statement Saturday night: He’s not afraid of dancing.
At one point, Reed covered his face and impressively hit a set of energetic dance moves, taking his declaration one step further. He can do this with his eyes closed. Big Ten offenses, beware.
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