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Penn State football freshman gearing up for a breakout season this fall

Penn State football has a huge freshman that is undoubtedly gearing up for a head-turning season in Happy Valley this fall.



Penn State football freshman linebacker Tony Rojas
© Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK

This fall, Penn State football could be in for a monster year; in fact, fans and national media expect nothing less after the Nittany Lions finished 11-2 and won the Rose Bowl in 2022, which was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the program. Still, the Lions have a lot of young faces and will need to mesh if they expect to make a run at knocking off Ohio State and Michigan and winning the Big Ten for the first time since 2016. One of the program’s biggest weapons right now is depth, and one of the team’s rising star depth pieces is freshman linebacker Tony Rojas. If spring ball reports ring true and Rojas lives up to the hype, this Penn State football freshman could be in for a monster year this fall.

Penn State football freshman linebacker Tony Rojas in for a breakout season in State College

Since committing as a member of Penn State’s 2023 recruiting class, Tony Rojas has been a major topic of interest among fans and the media. Since arriving on campus as an early enrollee, Rojas has further established himself as a potential breakout star in the Blue and White. According to spring ball reports from James Franklin and a few notable players, Rojas has bulked up, looks faster, and has an impressive football IQ.

“When he came [to Penn State], he was a good size,” Kalen King said during spring practice. “But now you can really see the difference; his muscles are a little bigger — his presence is a little bigger now … I feel like he didn’t lose a step — I feel he gained good weight because he is still out there making plays on the ball. He’s still out there, you know, making good open-field tackles, so I feel like that weight only benefitted him.”

29 pounds of “good weight?”

According to head coach James Franklin, one of the most impressive offseason feats that Penn State football saw, in general, was the weight gain of freshman linebacker Tony Rojas, who reportedly put on nearly 30 pounds of “good weight.” Considering Rojas is still a freshman and hasn’t even hit his first fall semester in State College yet, this could be an incredible sign of things to come for the Penn State football team’s newest addition.

“Them being here now I think is really valuable,” James Franklin said about true freshman linebackers Ta’Mere Robinson and Tony Rojas being present for spring ball. “[Tony Rojas] is gaining more and more confidence every single day, he has put on 29 pounds since he’s been here, and it’s good weight. I don’t know how that is necessarily possible, but he has put on 29 pounds.

“Every time I go to the nutrition bar he is sitting there eating — after practice, he is getting an extra pump in, and he is playing fast and carrying the weight really well. There is a lot of excitement about those two guys.”

Heading into the 2023 season, Tony Rojas — a former four-star recruit — will likely not find himself in a starting role right off the bat. That being said, Penn State’s Blue/White game leader in tackles (Rojas) may be in store for a breakout season and will likely earn a good amount of playing time as a depth piece this fall. For now, getting the impressive Penn State football freshman linebacker in shape for the 2024 season should be a bigger concern, as that is likely when he will find a much more meaningful role on Penn State’s team.

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