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Bigger, stronger, faster: Penn State football stars comment on impressive physical improvements

The new mantra took over the Penn State football locker room this summer. Recently, we caught up with some of Penn State’s biggest stars to discuss their impressive physical transformations this offseason.



Penn State Football, Abdul Carter, Nicholas Singleton, Kaytron Allen, Chop Robinson
Penn State Nittany Lions running back Nicholas Singleton (10) celebrates his touchdown run as Auburn Tigers take on Penn State Nittany Lions at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala., on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022.

The party line has been straightforward for the Penn State football program this offseason – bigger, faster, and stronger. From the coaching staff to practically every player on the roster, the goals for spring and summer were the same. Those three words, although simple, encapsulate the difference between where Penn State was in 2022 and where it wants to be heading into 2023. With fall camp fully underway, it’s soon time to see if the fruits of the Nittany Lions’ labor will pay off. Recently at football media day, we caught up with several of the biggest Penn State stars – Abdul Carter, Chop Robinson, Nicholas Singleton, and Kaytron Allen – to discuss their physical improvements heading into this season.

Penn State running backs Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen discuss leap forward in year two

Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen combined for two of the most impressive freshman seasons in Penn State football history in 2022. With over 1,900 yards combined, the duo became the first true freshman teammates in Big Ten history to each rush for at least 700 yards in a single season. Allen ran for 10 touchdowns, only eclipsed by Singleton’s 12 for the most by a freshman in Nittany Lions history. 

But the pair has set their sights higher for 2023. “We’re trying to get better each and every day,” Singleton said after the Blue-White Game in April. “This whole summer, we’re trying to get bigger, faster, and stronger. Just trying to have that ‘1-0 mentality.'”

Now in August, both Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen expressed that they did just that this offseason. “[I feel] way bigger, stronger, and faster,” Allen said at Penn State football media day last week. “I feel way better than last year.”

Singleton, who went viral for his summer workouts, discussed the program’s offseason efforts in more detail. “The whole strength staff, throughout the spring and summer, they’ve been doing a good job with us,” he said. “They’ve been getting us faster, stronger, bigger throughout the whole summer. I feel like I got bigger, stronger, and faster.”

Abdul Carter and Chop Robinson comment on impressive weight gain this offseason

On the other side of the ball, two Nittany Lion pass rushers were more open on their specific strides this summer. “Last year, I was around 240,” Penn State edge rusher Chop Robinson said of his playing weight in 2022. “Now, I’m weighing in close to 255. So, I put on about 10-15 pounds. And I’ve been seeing a difference.” 

Similarly, standout sophomore linebacker Abdul Carter said he’s picked up speed despite playing close to 250 pounds. “I added about 10-15 pounds,” Carter said. “I’m running faster than I did at 235 [last year]. I understand the game more. The game is slowing down for me because just being in the film room watching film is unlocking a new ability for me.”

The physical gains made by Carter and Robinson should strike fear into the hearts of Big Ten offensive coordinators. Last year, the two combined for 82 tackles, including 20.5 tackles for loss and 12 sacks. 

Overall, the comments made by Singleton, Allen, Robinson, and Carter are encouraging going into fall camp. These four Nittany Lions were among the most successful from Penn State’s 2022 Rose Bowl campaign. And in three short weeks, we will find out if the gains made by these four, and the entire Penn State football team, will be enough to take the program higher in 2023.

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Matt is a co-owner and Editor in Chief of Basic Blues Nation. Launched in 2022, Basic Blues Nation is one of the fastest-growing websites covering all Penn State athletics, with over 3.5 million readers in 2023. Matt is also a credentialed member of the Penn State football beat, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.


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