Penn State Football 2017 Position Preview: Secondary


Can Penn State football overcome a big loss in the secondary for 2017?

The Penn State Nittany Lions appeared to be set in the secondary heading into the 2017 season thanks to several key players and experienced reserves returning. However, things changed when cornerback John Reid was lost for the season. Fortunately, the Nittany Lions still appear to be very strong in the secondary this season.

Reid started all 14 games at cornerback last season and made 36 tackles with an interception. His experience and production will be missed, but fortunately, true freshman Lamont Wade should make for a fine replacement.

Wade was a top recruit coming out of high school last season and entered Penn State as an early enrollee in January. He had a full offseason to learn the ropes at the collegiate level and appears ready to step in and make an early impact.

Senior Christian Campbell could open the season as the starter in Reid’s place, but Wade should get plenty of action.

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On the other side of the field will be Grant Haley. The senior cornerback has started 22 games over the last two seasons and will be forever remembered in Penn State lure thanks to his touchdown return of a blocked field goal in the upset of Ohio State last season.

Amani Oruwariye and Zech McPhearson should both play important roles off the bench. A name to watch is true freshman Tariq Castro-Fields. The youngster has had a strong camp and should find a role during his first season in Happy Valley.

Like at cornerback, Penn State will have to replace a starting safety, as Malik Golden has gone to the NFL. The starting job could come down to a battle between converted running back Nick Scott,  senior Troy Apke, and redshirt sophomore Ayron Monroe.

At the other safety position the NIttany Lions will have the services of one of the best safeties in college football. Marcus Allen could have opted to leave for the NFL after last year, but chose to return for his senior year.

Allen led the Nittany Lions with 110 total tackles last year and recorded at least 10 stops in three different contests. He made a career-high 22 tackles in the win over Minnesota.

Like Grant Haley, Marcus Allen will be remembered by Penn State fans for a long time. It was Allen who blocked the field goal against Ohio State that Haley took to the house.

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Despite being down two starters from last season, Penn State should still have a very strong secondary in 2017.