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Penn State football star defensive back ranked in top-3 by Pro Football Focus

Penn State football star Kalen King is being talked about as a top-3 cornerback this fall.



Penn State football star defensive back, Kalen King
© Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK

Kalen King is gearing up for a season filled with monumental expectations, mirroring the high hopes placed upon the entire Nittany Lion football team. Despite playing as CB2 in State College last season, King emerged as one of the nation’s premier defenders, leaving no doubt that he is poised to take another stride in his collegiate development this fall. As a testament to his skills, the Penn State football star defensive back has already secured a pre-season All-American title and was recently ranked as one of the top three returning cornerbacks in the country by Pro Football Focus.

Kalen King named a preseason All-American, facing massive expectations in 2023

As the 2023 college football season approaches, Kalen King is generating significant buzz in the national media. Numerous outlets project King to be the top cornerback in the Big Ten, a preseason All-American, and one of the most formidable defensive players in the nation.

Despite shining brightly during the Nittany Lions’ triumphant 11-2 Rose Bowl-winning campaign in 2022, King’s performance seemed to be overshadowed by the dominant presence of All-American Joey Porter Jr., who was recently drafted by the Steelers in the NFL Draft.

That being said, as we enter 2023, the spotlight and accolades are poised for King’s rise to prominence within the defense and across the nation.

“It’s preseason for a reason,” Kalen King told the media earlier this spring when asked about his preseason All-American status. “It’s like before anything happens — predictions and stuff — I don’t really get into predictions. But, it’s definitely a good accolade to have, just people noticing the work that you put in, everything that I did last year is finally coming [into the] light. I am grateful for all of the accomplishments, but the work is definitely not done, because now I have to actually BE an All-American. I can’t just be a preseason [All-American].”

Pro Football Focus ranked King among the top-3 returning cornerbacks nationally

In the latest Pro Football Focus rankings of the top 10 returning cornerbacks, Kalen King of Penn State football finds himself trailing only Kool-Aid McKinstry from the Alabama Crimson Tide. King, a Big Ten standout and major Nittany Lion defensive contributor, secures an impressive second-place ranking in the recent release of the rankings earlier this month.

Throughout his tenure at Penn State, star cornerback Kalen King has demonstrated his exceptional skills in 26 games, amassing an impressive record that includes 53 tackles, three interceptions, 26 passes defended, two forced fumbles, and four tackles for loss.

His remarkable performance in the previous season garnered him well-deserved recognition on the All-America teams of both the Walter Camp Foundation and Pro Football Focus. Additionally, he received the distinction of being selected as an All-Big Ten player and was honored with the team’s Keystone State Award.

Head coach James Franklin says that King is in for a huge year with Penn State football this fall

Earlier this year, during the 2023 Penn State football spring ball practices, Nittany Lion head coach James Franklin couldn’t stop praising his new star cornerback. Following a year of receiving numerous accolades, King is emerging as a true CB1 — not only for Penn State but also within the highly competitive Big Ten and beyond.

“He is very similar to who he was when he stepped on campus,” head coach James Franklin told the media during spring practice this year. “He is a guy that did not play like a freshman as a true freshman, he obviously took a significant step as a sophomore, and he is continuing to trend like that. He comes out, he has got the right mindset and competes like crazy every single day and I think he is trending to have another really good year for us.

“[Kalen King] is more of a leader through his actions and things like that,” head coach James Franklin continued. “but he has done a really nice job.”

This upcoming season, the Penn State football star defensive back will aim to cement his position as a bona fide All-American, capitalizing on the pre-season buzz surrounding him. King will actively seek to contribute guidance and mentorship, and continue in his own personal growth as he navigates the challenges of the 2023 season alongside the Manny Diaz-led defense.

Thus far, he has displayed commendable adaptability and resilience in facing these tasks head-on. Given the team’s aspirations for a national title and beyond, King’s pivotal role and ability to exceed expectations will be crucial to Penn State’s success.

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