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Abdul Carter thinks this Penn State true freshman can have a big role in 2023

Abdul Carter burst onto the college football scene as a true freshman in 2022. Now, Carter says he thinks another Penn State true freshman could do the same thing this fall.

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Penn State football, Student Section, Beaver Stadium
Penn State freshman linebacker Tony Rojas greets family, friends and fans in the stands after playing in the Blue-White game at Beaver Stadium on Saturday, April 15, 2023, in State College. 230415 Hes Dr Bluewhite

In 2022, Abdul Carter burst onto the scene for Penn State football as a true freshman. By season’s end, the former four-star prospect was a focal point of the Nittany Lion defense. As Carter aims to become a leader of this 2023 team, Nittany Lions fans are clamoring for the next Penn State true freshman to make an impact. According to Carter, fans may have to look no further than the LB room, as true freshman Tony Rojas could significantly impact the Penn State defense this fall.

Tony Rojas is already making waves

By now, many Penn State football fans are familiar with true freshman Tony Rojas. The four-star LB was among the Nittany Lions’ highest-ranked recruits in the 2023 cycle.

An early enrollee, Rojas made headlines this spring for his impressive weight gain. He backed up the hype in April’s Blue-White Game, leading all defenders in tackles.

The expectations only further mounted in the offseason. Rojas was frequently cited as potentially one of the most impactful true freshmen throughout the entire Big Ten for 2023.

Abdul Carter thinks Penn State true freshman can have a big role this fall

The offseason hype around Tony Rojas seems validated coming out of fall camp. This week, Rojas was deemed one of the top performers of camp by the program. The true freshman was one of two defenders to earn the title of “Takeaway King.”

When Abdul Carter was asked about Rojas following practice this week, he had nothing but positives to say about the true freshman LB. “He’s had a good camp,” Carter said. “He’s another one of those guys who plays with a chip on his shoulder. As a young guy, he’s trying to come in and play this year, which I think he will. He’s gonna be good for us, too.”

Penn State has determined which true freshmen will burn redshirts early in 2023, according to James Franklin. However, Franklin wasn’t ready to name names during Wednesday’s media availability. Penn State football opens the 2023 season next Saturday against West Virginia.



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A third-generation Penn Stater, Matt is Editor-in-Chief for Basic Blues Nation, co-host of the podcast PSU Tailgate Talk, and a credentialed member of the Penn State football media. Matt also works as a staffer in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Matt lives in central Pennsylvania with his wife and a small army of pets.

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