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3 players that will define Penn State’s 2023 season

These Nittany Lions will largely determine the success of the team this year.

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Penn State's 2023 season
Jan 2, 2023; Pasadena, California, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Kaytron Allen (13) runs against Utah Utes defensive tackle Simote Pepa (77) in the first quarter in the 109th Rose Bowl game at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After finishing 2022 with 11 wins, a top-10 ranking, and a Rose Bowl win over Utah, the Nittany Lions have some high expectations this fall. There are many talented players on this year’s roster, though these players will be essential to the success to Penn State’s 2023 season

Drew Allar carries Penn State’s 2023 season on his shoulders

For the past four seasons, Penn State fotball fans have been subjected to watching Sean Clifford as the Nittany Lions’ starter. While Clifford was by no means a bad quarterback — he did his job and led PSU to two 11-2 seasons with New Year’s Six wins — he was not “the guy.” Now, heading into Penn State’s 2023 season, there will be a new face under center: rising sophomore sensation Drew Allar.

Allar — the former No. 1 prospect in the nation — has a massive frame and the arm talent to match. Additionally, he flashed some running ability and incredible pocket presence during his time as QB2 last season. Whether or not Drew Allar lives up to the hype is yet to be seen — if he can play to his potential, Penn State’s 2023 season could be one of the best in program history.

Kaytron Allen/Nick Singleton

Admittedly, this is a bit of a cop out by not choosing one of the Nittany Lions’ two sensational running backs; however, as we saw throughout 2022, these two function as a unit, not as individuals. Both Kaytron Allen and Nick Singleton had incredible freshman seasons last year and played a massive role in Penn State’s on-field success — that being said, as sophomores, this duo will need to step it up even more.

Both backs have added notable weight entering their second season with the Nittany Lions, and could become the best running back duo in the nation — their biggest competition for that title will be Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards at Michigan.

Kalen King

King comes into Penn State’s 2023 season with a lot of hype — according to just about every sports media outlet, King ranks in the top-five corners nationally and is the best cornerback in the Big Ten. Still, King has some big shoes to fill now that All-American lockdown cornerback Joey Porter Jr. is heading to the NFL Draft as a projected top-10 pick this spring.

Whether or not King can deliver as CB1 will play a massive role in the Nittany Lions’ success this year — if King steps up and lives up to the hype, Penn State’s defense could be looking elite throughout the 2023 season.



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