Penn State Football: How badly do Nittany Lions actually need transfers?

Head coach James Franklin of the Penn State Nittany Lions(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Head coach James Franklin of the Penn State Nittany Lions(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
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Landon Tengwall, Penn State Football
Landon Tengwall #58 of Penn State Football (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Offensive Line

Penn State Football’s offensive line was the main Achillies Heel of the offensive in 2021.

The Lions did not have a 100-yard rusher in a single game and quarterback Sean Clifford took a beating, as the line allowed 34 sacks, tied for 94th in the country.

There will be some new faces starting for the Nittany Lions as left tackle Rasheed Walker is off to the NFL and center Mike Miranda and guard Eric Wilson are out of eligibility. Reserves Des Holmes and Anthony Whigan opted to transfer as well.

To counter these losses, offensive line coach Phil Trautwein brought in key transfer Hunter Nourzad from Cornell. Although he played tackle at Cornell, Nourzad is expected to play guard for the Nittany Lions.

Youngsters Olu Fashanu, Jimmy Christ and Landon Tengwall saw action late in the season due to injuries and showed signs of promise. Fashanu looks like the favorite to take over for Walker at left tackle, while Tengwall could be a player in the interior battle in Fall camp. Christ could push for the right tackle spot in 2022.

Penn State Football returns two starters in Juice Scruggs, who is expected to move from guard to center, and right tackle Caedan Wallace. Sal Wormley, who was fighting for the starting right guard spot before suffering an injury last August, is expected to be back and healthy. Key backup Bryce Effner also returns, he saw action in 11 games in 2021, including two starts. Like Christ, he could push Wallace for the right tackle job.

If anything, the Nittany Lions would like to add another tackle option. Wallace may be better off on the interior of the line and there are plenty of other options on the inside with Nourzad, Tengwall, Wormley and Scruggs.

Considering how last year went, the more options Penn State has along the offensive line, the better, but four positions seem to be in good hands as of right now.

Dire Level: 5