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Penn State true freshman breaks program record

Better not blink, or you might miss this Nittany Lion newcomer.



Penn State football, Penn State true freshman, Elliot Washington II, Terry Smith
Delaware receiver JoJo Bermudez runs after a catch as Penn State corner back Elliot Washington II pursues in the fourth quarter at Beaver Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023 in University Park, Pa.

The 2022 season for Penn State football was marked by several true freshman standouts on both sides of the ball. While the 2023 recruiting class didn’t include instant program centerpieces like Drew Allar, Nick Singleton, or Abdul Carter, there were still several prospects that fans were excited to see on the field. Especially on defense, several new Nittany Lions could become critical parts of this team by season’s end. One of these players, Penn State true freshman CB Elliot Washington II, has already made his mark on the program. According to Penn State CB coach Terry Smith, Washington already broke one of the program’s speed records in his short time on campus.

Penn State true freshman Elliot Washington breaks program speed record

Defensive prospects led the way for Penn State football during the 2023 recruiting cycle. According to On3, 6 of Penn State’s top 10 ranked recruits in the 2023 class play on the defensive side of the ball. A four-star recruit out of Venice, Florida, Elliot Washington stood out to recruiting evaluators for his speed and athleticism.

That athleticism has already made Washington stand out in the Lasch Building. According to Penn State CB coach Terry Smith, Washington is one of the fastest players in the Penn State football program. Washington even has the fastest speed ever recorded by the program on GPS.

“Elliott is arguably our fastest player on the entire roster,” Smith said in availability leading up to the Iowa game. “I say arguably because he’s run 4.32 [40-yard dash], and we got a of couple guys — they ran 4.32; got a couple of guys right there. But he ran the fastest GPS time. He’s run over 24 miles an hour, which is the fastest in our program history. So he can flat-out run.”

Smith’s comments were in the context of discussing Washington and another Penn State true freshman CB, Zion Tracy. According to Smith, Tracy clocked a 4.41 40-yard dash, despite having to pull up in the last 5 yards with a hamstring injury.

Terry Smith wants to continue the success of the CB room

While Elliot Washington II and Zion Tracy have been given the “green light” to burn their redshirts as true freshmen, a loaded CB room has meant limited playing time through 3 games. However, Terry Smith emphasized that the opportunity to learn from a group of talented veterans will be invaluable for the pair of true freshmen.

“We’re just super excited about the future of these guys,” Smith said. “And to be able to groom under guys like Kalen King, and Daequan Hardy, and Johnny Dixon. You know, we just want to keep the room going…”

Penn State football got the job done on the field this weekend, dominating Iowa 31-0 Saturday night.

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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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