Arguably the weakest and most questionable position on this year’s Penn State team heading into the 2014 season is the offensive line. Gone are seasoned veterans such as John Urschel, Ty Howle, Garry Gilliam and others, and in come a lot of new faces, including two converted defensive tackles and a couple of redshirt freshmen.
One of those redshirt freshmen that will most likely be depended on a lot this upcoming season is Brendan Mahon. The Randolph, NJ native was a big time recruit coming out of high school and probably went a little under the radar because he was in the same recruiting class as Christian Hackenberg and Adam Breneman. According to Rivals rankings, Mahon was the No. 58 player in the country in the 2013 class and the third-best guard in the class as well. Along with Penn State, he held offers from the likes of Florida, Michigan, South Carolina, UCLA and others.
Mahon’s natural position is guard, but with the uncertainty and lack of bodies that offensive line coach Herb Hand has to work with in the trenches, Mahon can and might have to play some tackle, too. With it looking more and more likely that Miles Dieffenbach’s injury is going to keep him out for the 2014 season, expect Mahon to see a lot of playing time and possibly even start at some point. Standing at 6-foot-4, 305 pounds, Mahon’s size won’t be a concern, but his lack of experience might be.
However, there’s a reason as to why Mahon was so highly regarded coming out of high school. With Hand coaching him up and the experienced Dieffenbach giving him advice along the way, Mahon will learn a lot and he should fare well this year.