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Kalen King is gearing up for an incredible season, James Franklin says

James Franklin breaks down how Kalen King’s offseason is going so far.



Penn State football, James Franklin, Kevyn Humes, 2025 recruiting class
© Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — After a phenomenal defensive season in 2022, the Nittany Lions are losing star cornerback Joey Porter Jr. to the NFL Draft later this month. Heading into the 2023 season this fall, Penn State football will look for a new face to step up on defense: star cornerback Kalen King, who has been praised as one of the best corners in the nation and the No. 1 cornerback in the Big Ten ahead of the coming season. According to head coach James Franklin, King is has made improvement and is in store for a huge year.

Star cornerback Kalen King is in for a special season

Penn State football’s star cornerback Kalen King came to Happy Valley as a part of head coach James Franklin’s 2020 recruiting class — he was rated as a four-star recruit, and ranked as the No. 16 corner in the class and No. 8 player in the state of Michigan. A Detroit native, King has seen his ups and downs since arriving in State College. Still, heading into this season, he has some massive expectations, and will be relied upon to lead the Penn State football defense.

Head coach James Franklin breaks down what King brings to Penn State football in 2023

“He is very similar to who he was when he stepped on campus,” head coach James Franklin told the media. “He is a guy that did not play like a freshman as a true freshman, he obviously took a significant step as a sophomore, and he is continuing to trend like that. He comes out, he has got the right mindset and competes like crazy every single day and I think he is trending to have another really good year for us.

“[Star cornerback Kalen King] is more of a leader through his actions and things like that,” head coach James Franklin continued. “but he has done a really nice job.”

To this point in his Penn State football career, star cornerback Kalen King has appeared in 26 games, recording 53 tackles, three interceptions, 26 passes defended, two forced fumbles, and four tackles for loss. A season ago, the Walter Camp Foundation and Pro Football Focus both named the Nittany Lions’ star defensive back to their All-America teams, he was an All-Big Ten selection, and earned the team’s Keystone State Award.

This fall, Penn State’s star cornerback Kalen King will need to step up on the field and off as he takes over as one of the program’s key leaders throughout the 2023 season.

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