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Penn State running backs ranked as top 10 position group in college football

How high can Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen take Penn State football in 2023?

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Penn State football, Olu Fashanu
Sep 17, 2022; Auburn, Alabama, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Nicholas Singleton (10) celebrates with offensive lineman Olumuyiwa Fashanu (74) after scoring a touchdown against the Auburn Tigers during the third quarter at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a subpar 2021 season, numerous question marks surrounded the Penn State running backs going into 2022. Now, there is little doubt that the position is one of the strengths of the 2023 Penn State football team. The Nittany Lions boast two of the best young running backs in the game, Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen. But how do the Penn State running backs stack up nationally? According to a recent article from 247Sports, the room is a top 10 position group in college football this season.

Penn State running backs named top 10 position group in college football

All offseason, we’ve discussed how Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen give Penn State one of the best running back duos in the country. Coming off a 2021 season where the entire team rushed for 1,402 yards and 11 scores, Singleton and Allen combined for 1,928 yards and 22 touchdowns last season.

But one top college football analyst thinks that the Nittany Lion tailbacks should be included not just among the top running backs in the country, but among the best position groups. Last week, Brad Crawford of 247Sports published an article ranking the top position groups in the sport. The Penn State running backs, or the “two-headed monster” as Crawford called Singleton and Allen, came in at No. 8 on his list. The entire top 10 is as follows:

  1. Ohio State wide receivers
  2. USC quarterbacks
  3. Michigan running backs
  4. Georgia defensive line
  5. Michigan offensive line
  6. Georgia secondary
  7. Clemson linebackers
  8. Penn State running backs
  9. LSU linebackers
  10. Texas quarterbacks

Can Singleton and Allen put the Nittany Lions over the top in 2023?

In his piece, Crawford notes that Singleton and Allen “took the Big Ten by storm” in 2022. “Singleton’s a throwback player who craves contact,” Crawford writes. “Penn State is one of our most dangerous teams to watch this season due to this talented backfield. Singleton and Allen should alleviate some of the pressure off the shoulders of five-star quarterback Drew Allar, who was the crown jewel of the 2022 recruiting cycle for the Nittany Lions along with this pair.”

The scenario posed by Crawford is one of the most significant questions facing Penn State football this season. Yes, there is a good argument that the Nittany Lions will only go as high as Allar – and those he is throwing the ball to – can take them in 2023. But it’s difficult to imagine the first-year starting quarterback will have his feet completely under him from week one.

With four Power 5 matchups and two Big Ten road games in September, a key component to Penn State’s early season success could be managing the clock and letting a dominant defense take over. Once the Nittany Lions get into the meat of their schedule, a dynamic attack on offense will be critical to get through the likes of Ohio State and Michigan. Regardless, whether or not the Nittany Lions reach their potential in 2023 depends greatly on the dynamic duo of Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen.



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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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