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Staff Picks: Bold Predictions For Penn State Football’s 2023 Season

The 2023 college football season is quickly approaching.

Penn State football starts its campaign in less than two weeks with a matchup against West Virginia on Saturday, September 2, at Beaver Stadium. The Nittany Lions enter 2023 with lofty expectations after finishing 11-2 last season, which culminated in a Rose Bowl victory.

With the season beginning so soon, our staffers have some bold and intriguing takes ahead of the most wonderful time of the year.

CJ Gill: Dani Dennis-Sutton Will Lead Penn State In Sacks

Once ranked a five-star recruit by 247Sports, defensive end Dani Dennis-Sutton is poised to be a breakout candidate within Manny Diaz’s defense in 2023.

During his freshman campaign, he recorded 17 tackles and three sacks. Dennis-Sutton isn’t expected to be one of the two starting defensive ends this fall, but he’ll have plenty of opportunity to get after opposing quarterbacks.

Veterans Adisa Issac and Chop Robinson will get the majority of double teams and attention every Saturday, which will allow the tenacious Dennis-Sutton a chance to lead the Nittany Lions in sacks this year. Don’t be surprised come this winter if the former top recruit is atop the Penn State stat sheet.

Aidan Conrad: Omari Evans Will Become The Nittany Lions’ Starting Wide Receiver

After Parker Washington’s departure to the NFL, the wide receiver position has many question marks. However, sophomore Omari Evans’ chemistry with likely starting quarterback Drew Allar has been noticeable. Both Evans and Allar scored their first touchdown on the same play in Penn State’s 46-10 win against Ohio last season.

Although the third wideout has yet to be publicly announced, I’m confident in Evans’ ability as a player to not just win the job but emerge as Allar’s top target with the amount of turnover in the unit.

CJ Doebler: Omari Evans Will Tally 300 Receiving Yards

One of the major question marks going into the 2023 season is who will get the third wide receiver spot.

Dante Cephas wasn’t with the team for the 2023 Blue-White Game, allowing Omari Evans to gain more reps. Evans took advantage of the opportunity and finished the game with 80 yards and a touchdown on five receptions.

Momentum from the Blue-White Game coupled with a strong camp, should give Evans plenty of opportunities to prove himself in game situations this season to rack up at least 300 receiving yards.

Brady Miller: Penn State Will Make The College Football Playoff

If not this year, when?

I believe this Penn State defense will be among the nation’s best, and if likely starting quarterback Drew Allar lives up to even half of the hype that surrounds him, this team will be more than capable of reaching the College Football Playoff for the first time in school history.

Brendan Wagner: Drew Allar Won’t Start Every Game

Now, I know this one is pretty out there. However, the length of Penn State’s quarterback battle this offseason has opened the door for speculation.

One of the best recruits on paper to walk through the doors of Penn State should’ve already been named the starter, especially after playing multiple games as a true freshman.

However, this has not been the case, as James Franklin again refused to publicly name a starter when asked this week. Allar may start the first game, but don’t be surprised if Beau Pribula makes an appearance under center to start a game later this season.

Matt Brown: Chop Robinson Will Win Big Ten Defensive Player Of The Year

This season, the Nittany Lions’ defense is set to take a huge step and show that it’s not only one of the best defenses in the Big Ten, but in the entire country.

Penn State is headlined by stars such as Kalen King, Curtis Jacobs, Abdul Carter, and Chop Robinson, my pick for the team’s breakout player. I’m expecting a huge year from the junior defensive lineman, who will undoubtedly have a double-digit sack season and make him the first Penn Stater to be named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year since Carl Nassib in 2015.

Rico Gore: Penn State Will Beat Michigan Or Ohio State…But Not Both

The idea that Penn State goes undefeated and makes the College Football Playoff just seems too far out there for me. However, I believe that this is the year we finally beat one of these two teams. Make no mistake though, there is no way we are going to beat both of them.

I just believe that we’re going to beat one of them. I don’t know which one, and I don’t really care which one. I just want to beat one.

Nolan Wick: Tony Rojas Will Have A Breakout Season

Linebacker Tony Rojas, one of the newest Nittany Lions, is a player you should have on your radar as a candidate for a breakout season. The Virginia native and four-star was ranked the No. 3 player in his state, the No. 10 linebacker, and the No. 122 overall recruit in the Class of 2023, according to 247Sports. Because of that, the hype around his commitment is warranted.

The excitement was only validated by Rojas’ performance in the Blue-White Game, as he made nine total tackles, including six solo tackles, and broke up one pass. Although the linebacker room is crowded and full of talent, I have a great feeling about Rojas given everything we know about him, and his storyline will be interesting to follow this season.

Joe Lister: Nick Singleton & Kaytron Allen Will Combine For 2,500 Rushing Yards

Is this actually a hot take? I originally set a goal of 3,000 yards for one of college football’s best-rushing duos but quickly realized that take might be a bit too hot.

However, it’s totally reasonable to say that Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen can combine for 2,500 yards in 2023. Singleton rushed for just over 1,000 yards last season, while Allen put up 867.

Sure, a bump of around 700 yards between two backs is asking a good bit, but look at the context. Penn State nearly had two freshmen rush for over 1,000 yards, and the pair will only get better as time passes. With an inexperienced Drew Allar taking snaps for the Nittany Lions and the wide receiver corps still unsettled, James Franklin will want to use the running game a bit more, especially to start the season.

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About the Author


Posts from the all-student staff of Onward State.

James Franklin Refuses To Publicly Release Depth Chart Ahead Of Penn State Football’s Season Opener

“We try not to put that information out there because I don’t necessarily see the value in it.”

Former Penn State Field Hockey Coach Char Morett-Curtiss Launches Female Athletics Initiative

“Through Teammates For Life, we are committed to delivering the best student-athlete experience in the country.”

Penn State Football Entering Season With Unforeseen Promise At Quarterback Behind Likely Starter Drew Allar

“We want to make sure that we have game plans that play to all three of their strengths.”

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