Four Penn State Football Newcomers Crack ESPN’s Top 25 ‘Instant-Impact’ True Freshmen

After cultivating the eighth-best recruiting class per 247Sports over the latest cycle, Penn State football’s young core of talented true freshmen is already receiving national recognition.

According to ESPN, four Nittany Lions rank among college football’s top 25 true freshmen performers through the season’s opening five weeks. The bunch, including Abdul Carter, Nick Singleton, Dani Dennis-Sutton, and Kaytron Allen, give Penn State the most athletes on the list by a one-player margin ahead of LSU.

Carter, who ranks as the highest-rated Nittany Lion athlete, came in at No. 2 on the list compiled by analysts Tom Luginbill and Tom VanHaaren. With 18 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble in limited action so far, both Luginbill and VanHaaren believe the Philadelphia native has the potential to morph into a high-profile NFL Draft prospect with the ability to forgo his fourth season in Happy Valley.

Right behind Carter, former five-star running back Nick Singleton checked in at No. 3. The pair of writers nabbed the other in-state commodity as “the best thing to happen to Penn State since Saquon Barkley.” Through week five, Singleton’s 473 yards on the ground rank third amongst all freshmen.

Rounding out the top 25, Dani Dennis-Sutton and Kaytron Allen stacked up at No. 20 and 23, respectively. While Dennis-Sutton has mostly played in a rotational role through five matchups, the former blue-chip pass rusher has still managed to light up the stat sheet.

Heading into the Nittany Lions’ bye week, Dennis-Sutton leads Penn State with three sacks and ranks second among all defenders in tackles for loss. As for Allen, the IMG Academy product averages 5.3 yards per carry as a potent power compliment to Singleton’s speed-centric run style.

During Penn State’s week four bout with Central Michigan, Allen excelled in a bell cow role by producing 111 rushing yards behind only 13 carries. If Allen continues his steady trajectory of improvement, Luginbill and VanHaaren think Penn State could possess one of the best one-two backfield punches in the Big Ten.

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About the Author

Connor Krause

Connor Krause is a senior from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania double majoring in journalism and business. 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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