With the graduation of former Penn State starting center Ty Howle, the Nittany Lions must look to fill a hole in the center of the offensive line. As stated in an earlier preview, the player most likely to take over the starting role at center is senior Angelo Mangiro. However, redshirt sophomore Wendy Laurent should move up to second on the depth chart and see some action in the rotation.
Originally born in Hati, Laurent’s hometown is Hamilton, New Jersey. He attend The Hun School and was a three-year letterman. During his senior season, he helped the Raiders win a Mid-Atlantic Prep League title as a team captain. According to his 247Sports profile, Laurent was listed as a defensive tackle and an offensive guard.
Before choosing Penn State, Laurent had offers from Buffalo, Towson, Elon, Richmond, UMass and Navy to name a few.
Standing at six-foot-two, 284 pounds, Laurent will still need to add some bulk if he hopes to make an impact in the center of the offensive line. However, he does have experience, appearing in five games during the 2013 season. With a depleted and inexperienced offensive line this year, Laurent will likely be leaned upon to provide both depth and experience.
Though he’s listed as a center on the roster, don’t be surprised to see Laurent line up at guard sometimes this season. With the aforementioned issues facing the Nittany Lions on the line, head coach James Franklin and offensive line coach Herb Hand are going to need to be creative in how they use and rotate their players.
While likely not a starter this year, Laurent did start on what was presumably the first-team offense for the Blue-White Game. He did leave that game with an injury, but that shouldn’t be an issue for the season. Look for Laurent to fill in where needed and see plenty of time on a makeshift offensive line unit.