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James Franklin comments on the incredible physical growth of Abdul Carter

Penn State’s elite rising sophomore linebacker got bigger… and better.



Penn State football star linebacker Abdul Carter, head coach James Franklin
Oct 1, 2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions linebacker Abdul Carter (11) reacts after a tackle against the Northwestern Wildcats during the second quarter at Beaver Stadium. Penn State won 17-7. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Last week, during the Nittany Lions’ weekly spring ball media availability, coach Franklin got a chance to address many of the biggest offseason storylines surrounding his program. One of the hottest topics right now is the physical growth of rising sophomore star linebacker Abdul Carter, who was named a Freshman All-American for his performance in 2022. Here is what Penn State football head coach James Franklin had to say about Carter’s growth.

Star linebacker Abdul Carter has bulked up since 2022, now carries an impressive frame

This time last spring, Penn State football star linebacker Abdul Carter was 16 pounds lighter than he is right now. A season ago, Carter became the focal point of the Nittany Lions’ stellar defense, compiling 56 tackles, 6.5 sacks, forcing two fumbles, and more. Now heading into his sophomore year, Carter is currently listed as having a 6-foot-3, 249-pound frame to pair with his incredible talent and speed. That is a scary sight for opposing offenses, and head coach James Franklin know that he is a special player.

Head coach James Franklin on Abdul Carter’s physical growth

Here is what Penn State football head coach James Franklin had to say about star linebacker Abdul Carter and his offseason weight gain.

“At the end of the day it is that they put on good weight, and [if they can] carry it,” James Franklin told the media. “And [star linebacker Abdul Carter] has put on good weight and is carrying it well right now. So, at the end of the day, the reality is [get] as big as you can get and still keep your speed and quickness — it is a weapon. So, right now, he seems to be doing a good job of it.”

If Penn State football star linebacker Abdul Carter can maintain the same explosive speed that we saw a season ago despite gaining over 15 pounds over the offseason, All-American status is not off the table. As a true freshman in Manny Diaz’s defensive scheme, Carter shinned and helped lead the Nittany Lions to an 11-2 season with a Rose Bowl win.

Now, Carter and the Penn State football team have much bigger goals in mind, like a Big Ten title, College Football Playoff appearance, and more.

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Chris Mangum is currently a Penn State student and serves as a writer and editor covering Big Ten athletics. He has served as a beat writer, online reporter, print reporter, and more over the past few years of his career. He currently serves as the managing editor for Basic Blues Nation and others.