Meet the Future Stars Penn State Football Freshman Class Takes on Delaware

In the Lions’ remarkable 63-7 victory, we witnessed twelve fresh faces getting their chance to shine, providing some well-deserved respite to the seasoned players before the commencement of the Big Ten season.

 Penn State Football

Penn State football Rising Stars: Freshmen Take Flight in Defining Victory

In State College, Pennsylvania, Penn State introduced five promising true freshmen onto the field during the final quarter against Delaware. Their mission? To safeguard their lead. The Blue Hens’ quarterback, Jaech Markar, narrowly evaded a collapsing pocket and soon found himself confronted by Jameal Lyons, aptly known as the ‘Eagle Wall.’ The outcome of the third quarter saw Delaware miss a field goal attempt, a testament to Penn State’s reserve defense, which held firm, ensuring a 63-7 victory.

New Players Shine: Pribula, Smolik, and Evans Light Up the Field

The excitement continued with the entry of four new players, including three on the offensive line and one as a tight end. Beau Pribula, a redshirt freshman quarterback, made a memorable appearance against Delaware, marking only his second time on the field in his career. Joining him was freshman quarterback Jackson Smolik, along with sophomore student Omari Evans, who collaborated to orchestrate a second touchdown drive.

Bright Future: Rising Stars of the 2023 Penn State football Class

In any game concluding with a score of 63-7, the emergence of young talents is a common sight. Against Delaware, the Lions fielded a staggering 76 different players, among them 12 true freshmen who left an indelible mark. This is a promising sign for the 2023 recruiting class, which, while not as highly touted as the 2022 class, has garnered recognition as a top 15 class in the nation according to several reputable sources. Notably, four players – cornerback Eliot Washington, Zion Tracey, safety King Mac, and linebacker Tony Rosas – received the green light to forego their redshirts, hinting at a potential trajectory akin to the previous year.

Coach Franklin shared his thoughts on the significance of such games, emphasizing the importance of sparing early players from prolonged on-field action in a demanding season consisting of 15 games.

Particularly noteworthy was the performance of the defensive line, featuring newcomers Jevon Williams at left tackle and Anthony Donkoh at left guard, tasked with protecting Pribula’s blindside. Their contributions complemented those of Olu Fashanu and Hunter Norzad, the latter having faced challenges with “bumps and bruises” throughout the week. Chimdi Ononoh, a third fresh face on the line, made crucial tackles at opportune moments.

Kedan Wallace, the starting right tackle, praised the intelligence and physicality of the new additions, highlighting their excellent execution.

Rosas, Mac, and Washington each recorded two tackles, placing them second on the team in this regard. Additionally, Tracey’s impressive chase-down tackle during a kickoff return in the second quarter did not go unnoticed.

Junior safety Jalen Reed reflected on his own experience as a true freshman two years ago, emphasizing the importance of learning and adapting within the team’s framework beyond mere talent.

Pribula enjoyed a substantial opportunity, playing almost an entire half of football. Coach Franklin, adhering to a strategy implemented since 2021, aimed to bolster the confidence of his backup quarterback. His comments left the door ajar for Pribula to potentially see even more action in the upcoming games.

At halftime, with the Lions comfortably leading 35-7, Coach Franklin challenged his team to elevate their performance in the second half, knowing that the reserves would be taking the field. The response was resounding, as they outscored Delaware 28-0 in the latter half of the game.
“This marks the beginning for our coaching staff as we evaluate our team’s performance in the first quarter,” Coach Franklin remarked.”

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