The Penn State Nittany Lions wrapped up spring practice on Saturday in the annual Blue-White Game. According to the university, 72,000 fans filled Beaver Stadium to check out new head coach James Franklin and his Nittany Lions. There were both positives and negatives that came out of the game. While some of the main starters, such as stud quarterback Christian Hackenberg, didn’t play major minutes, several players really stood out during the game.
Below, VBR takes a look a the offensive and defensive players of the game from the Blue-White Game.
Offense: RB Cole Chiappiale
Okay, so this one is a no-brainer. Walk-on running back Cole Chiappiale was by far the most effective offensive player on the field. He rushed the ball nine times for 63 yards and two touchdowns. He averaged an amazing seven yards per carry and looked like someone who could do some damage at the collegiate level.
While it seems unlikely that Chiappiale will get a chance a running back this season, his work ethic and talent will earn him a spot on the team and a chance to perhaps compete for a running back spot in the future.
Offense: DE C.J. Olaniyan
Defensive end C.J. Olaniyan played an extremely strong game on Saturday. He was disruptive and spent most of his time on the field in the backfield disrupting the offense. He finished as the game’s leading tackler, recording five total tackles. Three of them were for a loss, including two-and-a-half sacks.
The 2014 season is a big year for Olaniyan, as he’ll be expected to be a leader on the defensive side as a senior. In 2013, he recorded 39 tackles and led the team with five sacks.
Olaniyan led a Blue Squad during Saturday’s scrimmage that recorded a total of six sacks. Olaniyan took full advantage of a porous offensive line and showed that he could be in store for a big season in 2014.
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