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Veteran LB says it’s time for Penn State football to show ‘full potential’

Expectations for Penn State football are about as high as ever. And according to Curtis Jacobs, it’s time for the Nittany Lions to prove it.



Penn State Football, Curtis Jacobs
Nov 6, 2021; College Park, Maryland, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions linebacker Curtis Jacobs (23)and teammates enter the field before the game against the Maryland Terrapins at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Expectations for Penn State football are as high as they have been in quite some time. Coming off an extremely successful 2022 season with a relatively young roster, many believe that the Nittany Lions will be one of the top teams in college football for the next several years. But according to veteran linebacker Curtis Jacobs, there’s no time like the present. Recently, Jacobs expressed that he believes 2023 is when Penn State can reach its full potential.

Curtis Jacobs: It’s time for Penn State football to show “full potential”

Penn State was one of the most talked about teams this college football offseason, and for good reason. The Nittany Lions are defending Rose Bowl champions, coming off an 11-2 season. Many of the program’s biggest stars, like Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen on offense or Abdul Carter and Kalen King on defense, return this fall. And, of course, former five-star quarterback Drew Allar is expected to take the reins under center.

Even if Penn State’s 2023 season plays out similarly to 2022, it would still be a top-10 caliber year. But those around the program have their sights set for much more this fall. Speaking at Penn State’s Lift for Life event this week, veteran linebacker Curtis Jacobs discussed why he decided to return to Penn State in 2023 and what he thinks the team can accomplish this year.

“I don’t think you can halfway do this thing,” Jacobs told the media. “When I decided to come back, it was about working on myself and working on this team and making everyone as great as we can be. I feel like I haven’t reached my full potential, and I feel like we, as a defense and we as a team, haven’t reached our full potential. So I feel like it’s time for us to show it.”

Here and now?

The sentiment expressed by Curtis Jacobs isn’t new among Penn State football players this offseason. From KeAndre Lambert-Smith to Olu Fashanu and beyond, we have heard many Nittany Lions take a step back from the “1-0” mindset to discuss what Penn State can accomplish in 2023.

It’s also clear that many outside the Lasch Football Building see what those inside the complex feel to be true. Practically from top to bottom, Penn State has assembled a roster that can make waves across the college football landscape this fall. But the path for the Nittany Lions to compete for a Big Ten Championship and College Football Playoff berth is evident as well. Despite being a likely consensus preseason top-10 team, James Franklin and Penn State continue to look up at two Big Ten East foes.

So ultimately, Curtis Jacobs’s “prove it” mindset is the right approach for the Nittany Lions heading into the season. Because if Penn State football is going to reach its full potential in 2023, that’s exactly what it will have to do.

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Matt is a co-owner and Editor in Chief of Basic Blues Nation. Launched in 2022, Basic Blues Nation is one of the fastest-growing websites covering all Penn State athletics, with over 3.5 million readers in 2023. Matt is also a credentialed member of the Penn State football beat, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.


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