We continue our recent run of Penn State player previews by taking a look at the offensive line. Today it’s redshirt freshman offensive tackle Andrew Nelson. Like his fellow redshirt freshman line-mate Brendan Mahon, Nelson will most likely be called upon to contribute right away due to the many uncertainties with this unit.
The Nittany Lions will enter the 2014 season with a very inexperienced offensive line due to the graduation of key player John Urschel, an injury to starter Miles Dieffenbach and the transfer of Anthony Alosi.
Nelson is from Hershey, PA and was a member of the ever-important 2013 Nittany Lion recruiting class. In addition to Penn State, Nelson had offers from Maryland, Missouri, Northwestern, Pittsburgh and Temple, according to Rivals. He was ranked by Rivals as the No. 69 offensive tackle in the nation and the No. 21 player from the state of Pennsylvania.
Nelson is in prime position to get a lot of playing time this year and probably even start at right tackle. He didn’t play in this year’s Blue-White game due to a knee injury, but he should be ready to go for training camp this summer.
Standing at 6-5, 297 pounds, Nelson might need to add some weight this summer in order to hit the weight necessary to deal with some of the defensive linemen he’ll be going up against. He’s a bit on the small side for an offensive lineman, but that’s something that can be taken care of with the right diet and training program.
Once again, Herb Hand has another young and unexperienced, yet talented player to coach up to protect Christian Hackenberg and create running lanes for the talented trio of Bill Belton, Akeel Lynch and Zach Zwinak.