Penn State Football: Three impactful newcomers in 2023

(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /
1 of 3

These players will impact Penn State football this fall. 

Is this the year? That is the question head coach James Franklin, and the Penn State football program will hear all off-season. The criticism about the Nittany Lions is its inability to beat Ohio State and Michigan in the regular season. Most pundits blame the lack of a dynamic quarterback. Penn State has had quarterbacks that play hard but are not considered elite.

That all changes this fall with five-star, blue-chipper Drew Allar taking the helm of the offense. Christian Hackenberg and Anthony Morelli are the only two quarterbacks in school history with a higher rating coming out of high school than Allar. Penn State has an opportunity this season, with the turnover at both Ohio State and Michigan, to make a move and contend in the conference.

For those things to happen, Penn State needs this infusion of new talent to play well. Here is a look at some new faces that could impact this fall.

3. King Mack, Cornerback:

One of the positions Franklin and his staff recruited heavily out of high school was defensive back, signing five from the high school ranks.

Penn State football lost three defensive backs to graduation and the NFL this off-season. With Joey Porter, Jr., Ji’Ayir Brown, and Jonathan Sutherland all gone, that leaves room for competition this spring and summer.

One defensive back that could compete for snaps in a defensive back rotation is four-star hybrid defensive back King Mack. He’s a bit smaller at 5-foot-11, but size is not a skill. Mack is an elite athlete with an excellent feel for the game. The Fort Lauderdale native is an accomplished sprinter that has shown the ability to translate his track speed to football speed.

A natural ball-hawk, Mack can cover his deep half or third and make plays on the ball. There are going to critique about his size, but his instincts are undeniable, and he’s a natural defensive playmaker.