There’s little question over whether or not Penn State football has one of the best rosters in the nation heading into the 2023 season. With several potential first-round NFL Draft picks and a core group of sensational young players, Penn State’s talent is starting to draw comparisons to the likes of Georgia, Alabama, and Clemson, among others. But where do the Nittany Lions stand within their own conference? Recently, On3 ranked three Penn State football stars, Olu Fashanu, Kalen King, and Abdul Carter, among the top 10 players in the Big Ten, the most out of any program.
Olu Fashanu, Kalen King, and Abdul Carter ranked as top 10 players in the Big Ten
This week, Jesse Simonton of On3 released his rankings of the top 10 players in the Big Ten ahead of the 2023 season. While Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr. took home the top spot, from a program perspective, Penn State football led the way. With three Nittany Lions included, Penn State had more players in the top 10 than any other program in the conference. Ohio State and Michigan were tied for second with two apiece.
Top 10 College Football Players in the Big Ten per @JesseReSimonton‼️
— On3 (@On3sports) August 15, 2023
Trailing close behind Harrison for the top slot was left tackle Olu Fashanu, who came in at No. 2 on Simonton’s list. “The 6-5, 320-pound lineman will help open holes for Penn State’s two-headed tailback attack, and he’ll protect Drew Allar’s blindside, where he allowed zero sacks in eight starts in 2022,” Simonton wrote. Fashanu was ranked as the No. 5 player in the country by 247Sports earlier in the week.
Just outside the conference’s top five was Kalen King at No. 6. A third-team All-Big Ten selection, King was a force to be reckoned with last season. He led all Penn State defenders with 18 pass breakups in 2022. King has been named to numerous award watch lists this preseason, including the Nagurski Trophy, Butkus Award, and Thorpe Award, to name a few.
Abdul Carter burst onto the scene as a true freshman last fall. Carter had 56 tackles, including 10.5 tackles-for-loss and 6.5 sacks last season. He became the first Penn State linebacker to have at least 10 tackles-for-loss and 6 sacks in a season since Dan Connor in 2007. “Carter is the game-changer in Manny Diaz’s havoc-focused defense,” Simonton wrote of the sophomore linebacker. “He has All-American potential in 2023, especially surrounded by so much other defensive talent.”
Scratching the surface of the Penn State roster
Even after taking up nearly a third of his top 10 players in the Big Ten, Simonton noted that the talented on this year’s Penn State football roster runs deep. “A trio of Nittany Lions did make my rankings, and I still felt wrong about leaving off tailback Nick Singleton and pass rusher Chop Robinson,” he wrote.
Without a doubt, Penn State’s top-end talent is unlike anything we’ve seen in Happy Valley in quite some time. But even with elite talent, the differentiator between great teams and elite teams always comes down to depth. This is something that head coach James Franklin says Penn State has in 2023. With injuries already claiming several Nittany Lions in the trenches and a long Big Ten conference slate ahead, this theory will most definitely be put to the test this season.
Thank you for reading Basic Blues Nation. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and insights on your favorite Penn State athletics. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email us at [email protected] or direct message us on our social media. Also, be sure to check out our new site shop. It’s due to your support that we can become one of the market’s fastest-growing Penn State sports outlets!
Will shot at Northwestern crowd backfire on James Franklin?
Gameday Central: Can Penn State football cement itself as the best team in the Big Ten vs Northwestern?
Chop Robinson shares what Penn State defense found to become unstoppable
Penn State commit, No. 1 player in Pennsylvania goes off for 4 TD performance
Penn State projected to land ESPN five-star quarterback
Big Ten defensive coordinator expresses doubt over Penn State QB Drew Allar
FB RECRUITING3 days ago
Penn State coach James Franklin comments on recruits requesting NIL payments for recruiting visits
FB RECRUITING4 days ago
BREAKING: Penn State football earns commitment from 4-star RB from PA
MORE SPORTS3 days ago
ICYMI: Penn State lands No. 1 recruit in the nation for 2025
FB RECRUITING5 days ago
Penn State commit, No. 1 player in Pennsylvania putting athleticism on display this fall
FOOTBALL3 days ago
James Franklin spoke on the impact of Manny Diaz after Iowa win
FOOTBALL2 days ago
Penn State football is No. 2 seed in latest College Football Playoff predictions
FB RECRUITING4 days ago
BREAKING: Penn State football lands top 10 prospect in PA
FOOTBALL3 days ago
National analysts still need to see more from Penn State despite dominant start