UNIVERSITY PARK, PA (WTAJ) – A Season after Kaytron Allen and Nick Singleton made Big Ten history, the expectations are building for the two’s sophomore campaign.
“They’re obviously bigger, stronger and faster,” said head coach James Franklin. Not only are they faster out here running the 40 right? They’re faster in terms of understanding the playbook, understanding college defenses and schemes.”
The 2022 campaign was the year of the freshman for Penn State. Linebacker Abdul Carter made the number 11 proud, while running backs Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen set records.
The duo each broke Penn State’s freshman rushing record, and became the Big Ten’s first freshman duo to each rush for more than 700-yards. Singleton ran for 1,061 yards, Penn State’s first 1,000 yard rusher since Miles Sanders, and was named the Big Ten Freshman of the year.
So how does one follow up what was a home-run freshman campaign? By not feeling yourself too much, apparently.
“I try not to get to comfortable, when you get to comfortable you get to relaxed,” said Allen. “I just try to play ball.”
“There is a sophomore slump and it’s real,” said running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider. “And as a coach that’s the worst fear that we have, right? Does a kid that feels like they’ve arrived? If you come, you get a chance to watch them. I know you guys aren’t out there long, but if you watch the way they work, it hasn’t changed. Matter of fact, it’s elevated.”
With a new quarterback and shuffled receiving corps, Penn State will likely lean heavily on it’s running attack in 2023. Retuning the bulk of its offensive line, the team, on paper, is in a good position to repeat last fall’s success.