Penn State has to replace 12 starters on offense and defense from last season including their three-year quarterback Trace McSorley. So yes, there’s a lot of question marks but there’s also a lot of exclamation points because there’s playmakers on each side of the ball.
“The positives are you’ve got a bunch of guys that are hungry and excited and have something to really prove and got a chip on their shoulder," Penn State head coach James Franklin said. "I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. Obviously, one of the negatives is you lack experience and experience counts and experience matters.”
"I just think you need to throw them out there to play," sophomore wide receiver K.J. Hamler said. "They gotta get their feet wet. It’s more of a confidence thing just to get ready and just give them a shot. You’re gonna mess up. Nobody’s perfect but it’s just what are you gonna do the next play so you can fix that mess up.”
“I think we have all the right pieces for the offense for everyone that if they do their jobs and compliment each other we’ll be a really well oiled machine I guess," Steven Gonzalez, an offensive lineman, added.
The biggest question mark is who replaces Trace McSorley. Tommy Stevens has transferred. Sean Cliffor is a possibility. So is Will Levis.
"Losing a guy like Trace is always gonna be something that you have to take steps to replace," Clifford said. "Trace didn’t come in and just become a leader. He earned it day by day.”
“Just getting those little details down because we have a lot guys who played a lot," senior corner back John Reid added. "Maybe some guys who haven’t started but they played a lot of football. Just keep working harder and looking to improve at our craft and being able to grind out those games.”
"When you find your step, you keep going forward and now it’s time to take two steps," sophomore linebacker Micah Parsons explained. "One step at a time you find your step you know where you’re going. So now it’s like you know where you’re going and now you can play off your instincts. You can add more things to your game. You can add more personality, more disguise, prevent QB’s from knowing what you’re doing from watching your film. They watch film from last year and it’s not going to help them because my whole game is gonna be different this year. I’ll have way more disguise, way more swagger out there on the field. Now it’s time for me to take my game up two steps.”