2:00pm Live (Online-BTN2Go)
To help you get the fullest enjoyment from this game, I've put together my guide to the three non-quarterback players/positions that I will be watching the closest today. I almost made it a list of four to include the wide receiver position, but with so much talent there I doubt you need my encouragement to be scouting out Irvin Charles and Juwan Johnson (hint, hint).
However, come summer practices my eyes will be on Miles Sanders. Sanders was the top running back in all of high school this past year, and I think it will be really difficult for James Franklin to keep him off of the field once he sees live action. Watching his high school film, it is clear that he is a star in the making. He isn't as big as Barkley (5'11", 195), but he has a classic running back frame and the kind of talent you cannot teach. He has the speed to beat defenders around the tackles, the power to pick up yards through the A gap, and the kind of lateral quickness that reminds me of LeSean McCoy. He may redshirt this year, but after a year of strength training and learning how to block there will be no holding this kid back.
Farmer is 6'1" tall, 222 pounds, and runs a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash. In the college game (as in the pros, lately), it is more common to see undersized linebackers than oversized defensive backs. Farmer would buck that trend if he were to become a starter. His natural position in the NFL, if he makes it that far, would be as a Kam Chancellor-type safety. He has the physical talent to be a mismatch nightmare for offenses: fast enough to cover wideouts, strong enough to bring down tight ends. The biggest question regarding Farmer is whether he has had enough time to develop the coverage skills and positional awareness necessary to push for playing time in a talented secondary. Today I will be watching to see how well he positions himself on the field, and to what extent his natural athleticism translates into the smoothness needed to play DB at a high level.
By all accounts, Nelson has been doing excellent work at left tackle this spring (as I expected) and has made it clear that he is far and away Penn State's best lineman. At right tackle, redshirt sophomore Noah Beh and JUCO transfer Paris Palmer (last year's starting left tackle) have been competing for the starting spot. According to Franklin, Beh has truly stepped up this spring. I would not be surprised at all to see the Scranton native win the starting spot, as Palmer was a true liability in 2015. Palmer has the frame to be a great player, but he lacked the strength and tenacity to compete against B1G edge rushers last year.