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Manny Diaz: Abdul Carter wants to be great, wants to improve

Penn State’s defensive coordinator had high praise for a standout Nittany Lion during spring practice.



Manny Diaz, Penn State football, Abdul Carter

STATE COLLEGE, PA — On Tuesday evening, Penn State held an open practice and media availability during their spring ball session. There, Manny Diaz had a chance to speak with reporters — including our own Matt Thomas and Hannah Miller — about the future of standout Penn State football linebacker Abdul Carter. According to Diaz, Carter wants to be great, and knows that he needs to improve.

Diaz: Abdul wants to be great, wants to improve

Penn State football defensive coordinator Manny Diaz is heading into his second season with the program, and has already done a marvelous job during his time as an assistant coach on James Franklin’s staff. After just one season with the Nittany Lions, Diaz commanded one of the top defensive units in the nation, ultimately leading to an 11-2 record and Rose Bowl victory for Penn State football a season ago.

Like Manny Diaz, Penn State standout linebacker Abdul Carter is also heading into his second season with the program in 2023 — Carter was named a Freshman All-American for his performance in 2022, and heading into a new season this fall, he has bigger and better goals on his plate. Wearing the coveted No. 11, Carter has bulked up quite a bit from his true freshman season in 2022, and is getting better every day.

“Abdul wants to be great,” Diaz told the media on Tuesday. “Most great players, they know that they have to improve. Most great players are are obsessed with improvement more so than the fact that, yes, they flashed and made plays. Abdul — obviously you can make a play, you can flash and make a play, and a guy like that it makes it very easy to try to put him in situations to make plays … down after down being where you’re supposed to be and understanding the ins and outs of the defense.”

“Also be able to play multiple positions,” Diaz continued. “Abdul will be the first to tell you he has a lot of room to grow and that it’s been fun to get through the spring, and not have to worry about getting ready for a game … and to give him a more foundational base of what we’re doing defensively.”

Heading into a brand new season this fall, Penn State football will likely continue to grow on the defensive side of the football — the Nittany Lions will need Abdul Carter to keep improving and leading the defense in that regard, and from the sound of it, he is doing exactly that.

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