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Power Ranking Nittanyville’s 2022 Banners

Every year, Nittanyville camps outside Beaver Stadium and leads the Penn State student section, arriving at the games first and standing in the front. As part of its festivities, the group’s members create banners celebrating certain Nittany Lions.

Throughout the season, our photographers captured many of the organization’s banners. For the fans that unfortunately couldn’t attend any of the team’s contests this season, we collected the best offerings and ranked them.

15. No Names All Game

This banner is a classic. Playing on the slogan surrounding Penn State’s nameless jerseys, this entry highlights teamwork above all else. There are just two issues that detract points.

First, two players wore jersey No. 14, and two more wore No. 10 this season. Of the No. 10’s, Nick Singleton and Mekhi Flowers are each listed as being 6’0″, making both shorter than either No. 14 — 6’2″ Sean Clifford and 6’1″ Tyrece Mills.

Secondly, it appears a Nittany Lion got loose and walked all over the banner. There are obvious blue paw prints all across the artwork. Keep track of your pets, folks.

14. Curtis Up Next

The next entry focuses on linebacker Curtis Jacobs, announcing he’s “up next.” While the artwork is quality, the sentiment needs some analysis. Jacobs can’t be “up next” if he’s already arrived.

Last season, Jacobs started in 11 of Penn State’s 12 games. In those appearances, Jacobs logged 61 tackles, three sacks, and an interception. If you weren’t giving Jacobs his flowers before this season, that’s on you.

13. It’s Good!

The design here is simplistic, but it shows love to an under-appreciated unit: special teams. Depicting kicker Jake Pinegar, punter/holder Barney Amor, and long snapper Chris Stoll, the “It’s Good!” banner projects confidence in the placekicking unit.

Perhaps due to the banner’s encouragement, Pinegar underwent a two-month streak without missing any kicks. Elsewhere, Amor earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors, while Stoll was named a finalist for the Mannelly Award.

12. BeReal

It’s always good to connect pop culture references to your banner. It helps set it apart. The BeReal-Penn State connection worked — just as well as the shown Sean Clifford-Brenton Strange connection.

Still, this banner receives a slight dockage of points, as it may encourage students to be on their phones during games instead of being present with 107,000 of their closest friends.

11. Lawnboyz

This banner is another classic, and potentially one of a bygone era. Using the “Lawnboyz” nickname for Penn State’s running back room, this entry shows the Nittany Lions’ top five running backs entering the year.

It may not have aged well, though. Since this banner was made, junior Devyn Ford (obscured by the recycling bin) left the team and sophomore Keyvone Lee missed the final six games of the regular season due to an undisclosed injury. Ford was the final original Lawnboy remaining, and his departure represents a generational shift. A Nittanyville banner shouldn’t make me this existential.

10. No Fly Zone

The “No Fly Zone” banner’s artwork is crystal clear. It’s like looking at a 4K cartoon. So for starters, that deserves commendation.

As for the content, although this defensive back’s jersey errantly has “PSU” on the shoulder, it gives some exposure to the fun “No Fly Zone” celebration. If at any point this season you wondered why defensive backs were doing little butterfly wing hand motions after plays, this was why.

9. Porter Island

Redshirt junior cornerback Joey Porter Jr. was a crucial part of the Nittany Lions’ strong defensive back room. When a cornerback puts his opponents on “an island,” it means the offensive playmaker is being neutralized. The visual inclusion of a sandy island was a nice touch.

It’s a similar vibe to the previous banner celebrating the secondary, but the specific emphasis on an individual elevates the overall entry.

8. Think Fast Run Fast

Another pop culture reference! As a part of his ESPN television program, Super Bowl-winning quarterback Eli Manning went undercover at a Penn State run-on tryout as “Chad Powers.” Muttering the motivational mantra written on the banner, Manning Powers sprinted into the hearts of Nittany Lion fans everywhere — exemplified by his inclusion among the Nittanyville banners, despite never playing a snap for Penn State.

7. Himsley

Upon his transfer from Western Kentucky, wide receiver Mitchell Tinsley garnered high expectations for his final year of eligibility. This season, Tinsley turned 45 catches into 528 yards and four touchdowns. Tinsley is definitely him.

I’m not sure why his banner is rife with parental advisory stickers — especially considering how soft-spoken he was throughout his postgame press conferences — but it adds to the cool factor, I guess.

6. Stix City

This banner cuts straight to the point. Linebacker Abdul Carter donned the famous No. 11 jersey, potentially indicating a high level of confidence from the coaching staff.

Since embarking on his impressive true freshman season, Carter has earned comparisons to former No. 11s such as LaVar Arrington and Micah Parsons. Stix City, indeed.

5. Aces

A tight end group that James Franklin once called one of the best units he’d ever coached, Brenton Strange, Tyler Warren, and Theo Johnson were dubbed “The Aces.” Shown on playing cards, the tight end trio is physically turned into aces.

Bonus points to this banner for changing the suit of Johnson’s card into a Canadian maple leaf, as the sophomore famously hails from Ontario, Canada. Nice touch.

4. Grateful Dreads

In 2019, Jonathan Sutherland was the target of a racially insensitive letter, which targeted his dreadlocks among other things. Not only is the wordplay impeccable, but the past context of this banner lands it high on the rankings.

After the final game of the regular season, the sixth-year senior wore his banner off the field, so clearly it was a hit with him as well.

3. Tomorrow Never Dies

Yet another pop culture reference! Safety Jaylen Reed was the subject of the “Tomorrow Never Dies” banner. Playing off his No. 7 jersey, Nittanyville equated him to international super spy James Bond.

The attention to detail in the design deserves kudos as well. Reed’s jersey is remarkably realistic, and the touch to include his numbered thigh pads was a good one.

2. Driver

This banner is a little bit scary. At the beginning of the season, true freshman Cristian Driver was rostered as a cornerback. The son of longtime Green Bay Packer Donald Driver, Cristian didn’t play the same position as his father (wide receiver). Flash forward to the present, and Cristian has since converted into a receiver.

Obvious compliments about the creative idea and quality artwork aside, the “Driver” banner was prophetic and therefore highly impressive. Did they know?

1. Washington’s Crossing

With the United States’ ongoing World Cup campaign, our top entry feels topical. Making a pun off sophomore wide receiver Parker Washington’s patriotic last name, Nittanyville placed him in a parodied version of the famous crossing of the Delaware.

Washington’s season came to a premature end, but he still totaled 46 receptions, 611 yards, and a pair of touchdowns. With the wordplay, the fun artwork, the historical reference, and the player’s impact, “Washington’s Crossing” was a clear choice for our favorite of the year.

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About the Author

Sam Fremin

Sam is a senior from Ashburn, Virginia, majoring in journalism and political science & minoring in German and creative writing. He is a Dallas Cowboys fan who relishes the misery of Eagles fans. All hate messages can be sent to [email protected] or @SamFremin on Twitter.

He may or may not read every single comment he gets.

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