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Who will emerge at middle linebacker for Penn State football in 2023?

The Penn State football team will look to lock in their starting middle linebacker for the 2023 season during fall camp. Will it be Tyler Elsdon or Kobe King this fall?



Penn State football, Tyler Elsdon, Kobe King,
Nov 5, 2022; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions linebacker Tyler Elsdon (43) and Penn State Nittany Lions defensive end Nick Tarburton (46) combine to tackle Indiana Hoosiers quarterback Jack Tuttle (14) during the first half at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

The Penn State football team will have one of the top defensive units in the country entering the 2023 season. They have talent at each level of the defense; however, there is the question mark of who will be the starting middle linebacker this season. Just because a position has a potential position battle doesn’t mean it’s a weakness I believe whoever emerges from this battle could be an unsung hero during the 2023 campaign. It will be up to Tyler Elsdon or Kobe King to lock up the position and anchor the middle of the Nittany Lion defense.

Tyler Elsdon and Kobe King bring experience to the table this season

The winner of the position last season was Tyler Elsdon who started every game last season at middle linebacker for Penn State. In his first year as a starter, Elsdon accounted for 44 tackles with 3 tackles for loss, and 1 sack. He went through growing pains in real-time as the weeks went on, but he was a great role player for the Penn State football team last season. After having one full year under defensive coordinator Manny Diaz‘s system, Tyler Elsdon will bring that starting experience to fall camp in hopes of retaining the starting job.

His competition for the starting job will come from Kobe King who enters his redshirt sophomore season in 2023. Although King wasn’t the starter last season he was still about to produce similar statistics to Tyler Elsdon. In 2022 Kobe King racked up 41 tackles with 4 tackles for loss and 3 pass breakups. The benefit of playing under DC Manny Diaz is he rotates in so many fresh bodies throughout a game. This allowed him to evaluate both Elsdon and King equally last season.

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At the end of the day, the loser of this battle will still play a large part in the success of the Penn State football team this season. Tyler Elsdon has to be the favorite to keep the job this fall, he has the experience and has learned from his growing pains last season; however, it’s hard to ignore the upside that Kobe King brings to the table. It will be enjoyable to watch how much both players have grown this offseason and whoever emerges will have a huge responsibility this fall for the Nittany Lions.

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Former Editor-In-Chief at Victory Bell Rings, Morgan is the current Site Manager for Basic Blues Nation, host of the Basic Blues Podcast, and co-host of the weekly Penn State Roar Room spaces. Morgan lives in upstate New York with his wife and cats.


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