James Franklin Announces 24 Players on 2018 Leadership Council

By RLR Staff on April 11, 2018 at 5:35 pm
Dec 30, 2017; Glendale, AZ, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver Juwan Johnson (84) against the Washington Huskies in the 2017 Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


Trace McSorley and Juwan Johnson headline a group of two dozen Nittany Lions who will lead the 2018 football program on and off the field.

Coach James Franklin announced the 24 members of the Penn State Leadership Council on Wednesday. This year's group of 24 replaces a significant chunk of the 2017 Leadership Council, which featured more than 20 seniors, plus soon-to-be-NFL-star Saquon Barkley.

Different from traditional captains (which the Nittany Lions still deploy), Franklin's council structure incorporates a bunch of players from across the classes, offering a new way to get the pulse of the program from diverse voices. Or, as Franklin puts it in the football program's press release:

"We are excited about our Leadership Council this year," Franklin said. "This group becomes more valuable every year because of the relationships we develop and the ability to discuss topics and challenges facing our team, university and community with solution-oriented conversations. It is critical to continue to develop leadership skills within our team, not only for this year, but to prepare these young men for life after Penn State."

All told, 13 seniors, five juniors, three sophomores and three redshirt freshmen are on the council. There are familiar names and some new ones; there are those returning from injury and young players who came to Happy Valley with big pedigrees.

Mark Allen RB
Torrence Brown DE
Jake Cooper LB
Koa Farmer LB
Trace McSorley QB
Amani Oruwariye CB
Nick Scott S
Charlie Shuman OL
Johnathan Thomas RB
DeAndre Thompkins WR
Kyle Vasey SN
Jason Vranic LB
Chasz Wright T
Name Position
Ryan Bates T
Blake Gillikin P
Juwan Johnson WR
John Reid CB
Tommy Stevens QB


Name Position
Tariq Castro-Fields CB
Will Fries T
Michal Menet G
Redshirt Freshmen
Name Position
Sean Clifford QB
Jonathan Sutherland S
C.J. Thorpe OL