Ah, spring has arrived in Happy Valley and that means spring football practices are underway for Penn State. While names like Sean Clifford and Nick Singleton will surely be in the news a lot, let’s focus on the Penn State sophomores who took a redshirt season in 2021. Some of those players could be fighting for starting spots, while others might just tap the surface of what level of player they might be at Penn State.
LB Kobe King
The sturdily built 6-foot-1, 242-pound king got his first taste of action last season, scoring time in four games before James Franklin and Co. made the decision to retain the redshirt of King. Now that Ellis Brooks and Jesse Luketa are gone, King arguably has the inside lane to start at MIKE. He will face second redshirt student Tyler Elsdon this spring, but that competition will likely continue well into the summer.
OL Landon Tengwall
The most touted prospect in the 2021 class, Tengwall took a redshirt season in 2021 after playing three games. The most playing time he saw was in the Rutgers game, getting 66 shots at left tackle due to a fluy Rasheed Walker. All in all, it was a solid showing from Tengwall and a good reminder of why he was a borderline five-star prospect. While he doesn’t think he’ll play a big part in left tackle work this spring, we’ll likely hear that Tengwall sees first-team reps in a few places – notably, however, guard.
S Zakee Wheatley
Wheatley was one of the most underrated prospects in the 2021 class, and it showed in his first season with the Nittany Lions. While he took a season as a redshirt, he was able to see time in four games at cornerback and on special teams. Although he’s gone from cornering to safety, Wheatley is still an enticing prospect – plus the athleticism to go along with a 6ft 2in long frame? Yes. Yes please.
W. R. Harrison “Tre” Wallace
A late turnaround from Duke, Wallace is one of the forgotten members of the 2021 class, but early reports indicate he has the potential to break into the wide receiver rotation next year. A very good basketball player in high school, Wallace just knows how to focus on football – something that was clear in his highlights. You could see the athleticism and the speed, but it was a pretty raw perspective. Now, with a full season in the books, I’m interested to hear about Wallace’s progress. This is the one in which I buy shares.
BY Davon Townley
Another overlooked member of the Class of 2021, Townley only committed to Penn State on the last day of the second signing period, Feb. 3, 2021. But man, you mean someone with a boatload of potential, look no further than Davon Townley. Like Wallace, he was a very good high school basketball player who now only focuses on football. Raw sure, but defensive line coach John Scott has a lot going for Townley — top-notch athleticism and a ridiculous frame at 6-foot-6, 268 pounds.