Redshirt Watch: Pitt

By Dan Smith on September 11, 2019 at 8:00 am
Sep 7, 2019; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin walks on the field during a warm up prior to the game against the Buffalo Bulls at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
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With two games in the books and one non-conference game to go, it is difficult to get too detailed about many trends. That said, with only four games allowed before burning a redshirt, we are already halfway to the limit for some players.

We had one player move from yellow to green, and one move from red to yellow this week, both at defensive end. Let's take a look at where we are.

Green

Pos. Freshman Played Remaining
RB Noah Cain 2 2
RB Devyn Ford 2 2
DE Adisa Isaac 2 2
LB Brandon Smith 2 2
LB Lance Dixon 2 2
CB Keaton Ellis 2 2

The big notable here is Isaac. Penn State wants to run three deep on the defensive line, and he seems to have carved out a role. I caution writing this in stone, as Nick Tarburton played in the first two games last season before sitting out the remainder of the season. But Isaac's profile and seeming readiness has me comfortable projecting that he is a more solid green.

Yellow

Pos. Freshman Played Remaining
RT Caedan Wallace 2 2
TE Brenton Strange 1 3
RG Saleem Wormley 1 3
DE Smith Vilbert 1 3
CB Joey Porter Jr. 1 3

There was one surprise Saturday, and it was the late appearance by true freshman defensive end Smith Vilbert. As mentioned above, Penn State shuffled Tarburton and Jayson Oweh around a bit last year at defensive end, while deciding to hold on to both players' redshirts. That may be what they try to do here with Vilbert, who is at least seventh on the depth chart right now.

Meanwhile, Wallace is staying here for the moment. It would be almost unprecedented to burn his redshirt when he is not expected to play significant snaps. On Saturday, he was used on the field goal/extra point unit, so his one snap on the offensive side of the ball was not a useful burning of one of his games.

Red

Pos. Freshman Played Remaining
QB Michael Johnson Jr. 0 4
QB Ta'Quan Roberson 0 4
WR John Dunmore 0 4
WR T.J Jones 0 4
DE Hakeem Beamon 0 4
DT Joseph Appiah Darkwa 0 4
DT D'von Ellies 0 4
CB Daequan Hardy 0 4
CB Marquis Wilson 0 4
S Tyler Rudolph 0 4

This group is a mixture of guys who won't see the field at all, guys who would only play if multiple injuries occurred, and guys who may get a little bit of run at the end of the season after another couple of months in the weight room. Beamon and Darkwa are both players I could see appearing towards the end of the season.

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