ESPN says these non-QB players will define Penn State’s success in 2023

As Penn State begins to prepare for spring football practices, the position under the brightest spotlight is the quarterback position. Following the long career of Sean Clifford, which ended with multiple Penn State passing records and a Rose Bowl victory to cap an 11-2 season, sophomore Drew Allar is the expected successor for the Nittany Lions, and he comes with plenty of hype and lofty expectations moving forward. But if you eliminate the obvious quarterback position from the discussion, what position or positions will have the largest impact on what Penn State does in 2023?

ESPN went through each of its way-too-early top 25 teams for the 2023 season and singled out one group that will be the biggest key for each team this fall. When it came to Penn State, the focus stayed on the offensive side of the football with the supporting cast surrounding Allar. ESPN grouped all of Penn State’s skill position players into the key category as the players that will ultimately dictate whether Penn State has a successful season or not. To be fair, this seems like an easy out, but it does make some sense.

The defense will have some key players to replace but the entire defense still has a good amount of talent to rely on for the upcoming season. And the offense has the dynamic young duo of Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen to run the football after stellar freshman seasons in 2022. Allen would have set the freshman rushing touchdown record for Penn State if it were not for Singleton also breaking and setting the new freshman record last season. Expect plenty of Singleton and Allen again in 2023.

Penn State’s biggest question mark on offense may come with the receivers after losing Parker Washington and Mitchell Tinsley to the NFL. The Nittany Lions bring back KeAndre Lambert-Smith, who had a big Rose Bowl, and the program attacked the transfer portal to add Dante Cephas from Kent State and Malik McClain from Florida State. The two new transfer additions should fit right in with the offense, but it is fair to wonder just how quickly the receivers get in sync with Allar.

Penn State was a common team placed in the top 10 of the way-too-early top 25 rankings following the conclusion of the 2022 season, and it is expected the Nittany Lions could be in the Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff discussion in the fall, and if the offense is firing on all cylinders, then the Nittany Lions could be in for a wild season.

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Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire