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James Franklin is excited about this year’s Penn State football backfield

James Franklin is quite excited about this year’s Penn State football backfield.



Penn State football backfield, James Franklin, Nick Singleton, Kaytron Allen
Nov 12, 2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin looks to congratulate running back Nicholas Singleton (10) after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter against the Maryland Terrapins at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

The Penn State football backfield stands tall among the best in the nation. In fact, 247 Sports ranks it as the second-best running back room in the country as the new campaign approaches. The Nittany Lions boast an exceptional duo of rising sophomore talents in Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen, who are anticipated to make significant strides forward. They will be supported by an offensive line and tight end group that head coach James Franklin believes will surpass the performance of last year’s unit.

James Franklin breaks down the Penn State football backfield

In a recent interview, James Franklin added to the national hype surrounding his elite running backs room. After standout performances in 2022, Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen are looking to build on their true freshman season and establish themselves as the top RB duo in the country.

“They just had so much success last year as true freshmen. Nick (Singleton) is kind of the home run guy, went for an 80-yarder in the Rose Bowl against Utah. He’s one of those guys that can break it at any moment,” Franklin said in a recent interview. “And Kaytron (Allen)? [He’s] kind of like the guy that, if you’re a true football guy, you watch him.”

“You just have a ton of respect for how he plays the game,” Franklin continued. “He’s the guy that’s going to be productive carry after carry. Six yards, eight yards, 12 yards. He’ll pop a 20-yard in there. Just a very efficient running back who knows how to play the position.”

“Based on what those two were able to do as true freshmen and behind an offensive line and a tight end group that we think are going to be better? Obviously, there’s a lot of excitement for those two to be able to take the next step,” James Franklin told JD Pickell of ON3. “There’s going to be a lot of people talking about those two this year.”

Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen vying for the top spot among RB duos this fall

A year ago, the Penn State football community was left astonished within just a few weeks of the season as they bore witness to the extraordinary speed and electrifying moves of Nick Singleton. On numerous occasions, if you were to juxtapose clips of Saquon Barkley and Nick Singleton, it would take a moment to distinguish between the two.

Singleton’s exceptional knack for eluding tackles, evading defenders, and exploiting running lanes beyond the tackle box firmly establishes him as one of the most formidable running backs in the entire country. As evidenced time and again in 2022, when Nick Singleton discovers even the tiniest opening in the field, no defense in the nation can impede his relentless progress.

Like Singleton, Kaytron Allen shinned a year ago, showcasing an undeniable indomitability in short-yardage and goal-line situations. Despite initial contact, the determined true freshman proved to be a force to be reckoned with, often demanding the attention of multiple tacklers to impede his progress. As the 2023 season looms, the young running back has undergone notable growth in both size and strength since last year, a development that should genuinely unsettle the entire Big Ten conference with less than 100 days remaining until the season kicks off.

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