The Blue-White Game is usually not a good barometer to find out which players are going to impact the program come fall. The 15 spring practices before the game are more important and that's where Penn State has a comfort level. There's more depth in past seasons and 18 returning players started at least six games last season.
"I thought we really accomplished our goals," Penn State head coach James Franklin said. "We were able to develop some depth, get a bunch of reps for some guys that maybe normally don't get reps. Right now, it's time for our players to focus on their academics, finish real strong academically and then go into the summer on a mission."
"Last year was kind of like each guy kind of knew where they're playing. This year, everyone's fighting for one spot and there's a lot of depth," Penn State sophomore lineman and Lake-Lehman product Connor McGovern said. "So, a lot of guys are fighting for the same position. Now we have good chemistry. So we know what's going on up front. So we trust each other and that's one of the big parts."
Sophomore Wide Receiver Juwan Johnson also feels more comfortable this spring.
"Just my confidence. I don't lack confidence, as I did last year," Johnson said. "Honestly, I think that just comes from just repetition and just practice and working on the things I need to work on in the offseason."
On defense, the Nittany Lions are coming off a Rose Bowl game where they gave up 52 points. They also have holes at defensive end. So what's the plan between now and opening kickoff?
"Just finding those two guys who can do it day in and day out and be consistent with it," sophomore linebacker Jarvis Miller said. "We have a lot of good ends. Shareef Miller's one of them. He's really been standing out, had a great spring ball. Torrence Brown, obviously coming back. He's a veteran guy, too, played as a red-shirt freshman a lot. So coming back we're going to use those guys."
"This 2017 team hasn't achieved anything," coach Franklin reiterated. "James Franklin hasn't achieved anything. Saquon Barkley hasn't achieved anything. Those things are in the past. What are we going to do in the present? What are we going to do moving forward to be the type of program and team we want to be? I'm fired up right now. I'm excited."
The season is just four and a half months away.