Anonymous Big Ten Coaches Share Their Thoughts on Penn State

By Matt de Bear on August 8, 2019 at 8:30 am
Apr 13, 2019; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin stands on the field during the first quarter of the Blue White spring game at Beaver Stadium. The Blue team defeated the White team 24-7. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
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Once again, the good folks at Athlon have compiled a number of anonymous quotes from coaches around the Big Ten on their conference brethren, including Penn State. The staffs from around the league ponder life after Trace, Ricky Rahne's offense, and the athleticism of Brent Pry's defense.  

"They're set to take that next big step, not this year because they're replacing a lot of the star power from last year, but in the coming seasons they could be special. They've had a ton of talent cycle through, and that's helped them in recruiting so much, to point to Saquon (Barkley) or Trace (McSorley)."

I'm not sure too many PSU fans would disagree with that assessment, although many expect some surprises from this year's team. However, with so many young, and talented players spread across the roster, the future is very bright, very soon.

"Trace was just a flat-out winner. Maybe the most respected QB in the conference, a coach's player. It's a huge void they have to fill on the field and in the leadership position, and James Franklin is drilling that home."

I found this one interesting because of the leadership comment. We all saw what McSorley brought on the field, but oftentimes the void in leadership off of it can be just as critical when a player like him moves on. 

"Wide receiver was a really weak spot last year, you saw them playing under their potential." 

Breaking news here, of course. 

"When you watch their offense, they do a really good job exploiting the mismatches. They're not overly complicated, but they're smart. They adjust really well on offense; they're reading you early on so you have to change up what you're doing a lot against them."

This might be the most intriguing quote of the bunch. One of the hallmarks of the system Joe Moorhead brought to Happy Valley was how relatively simple it was, and how the key was making the right reads and executing. At least to one coach, not much has changed under Rahne.

"They lose some at every position on defense, but (DC) Brent Pry has done a great job with their personnel. They're more athletic in their front seven than Penn State ever has been but have a lot of youth."

This one hits on the defense specifically, but the same could probably be said for a number of spots across the field. Penn State is talented but young at just about every position.

"They've recruited so well that the gaps in replacing guys are getting shorter and shorter. They don't look like Ohio State right now, but they've got freshman and sophomores who do." 

Better get the Nittany Lions now, because it's not going to get easier in the coming years. 

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