3. Upping Expectations in 2023
Coming off of the Rose Bowl victory, the hype for Penn State football heading into the 2023 season was very real.
Then linebacker Curtis Jacobs, defensive end Adisa Isaac and safety Keaton Ellis said they would return in 2023. They joined LT Olu Fashanu, RT Caedan Wallace, OG Hunter Nourzad and TE Theo Johnson as draft eligible players who will return next season.
The Nittany Lions also added 4-star transfer cornerback Storm Duck to help lessen the blow of losing projected first round pick Joey Porter Jr. Riley Thompson was also brought in at punter with Barney Amor out of eligibility.
Those were two big portal pickups, but Cephas is on another level. He was rated as the fourth best wide receiver in the transfer portal and the best among uncommitted transfers at the time of his commitment. He will be a serious difference maker on offense.
These transfers and veteran returnees will join an impressive core of young players that broke out for the Nittany Lions in 2022. That group includes RB Nick Singleton, RB Kaytron Allen, WR KeAndre Lambert-Smith, LB Abdul Carter, DE Chop Robinson, CB Kalen King and S Zakee Wheatley.
The 2023 roster has the makings of the most complete roster James Franklin has had at Penn State. Battling with Ohio State and Michigan will not be easy, but the Nittany Lions will be a scary team in 2023 if Drew Allar can at least be serviceable at quarterback.
If Allar is as good as his rating suggests he could be, watch out.
Dante Cephas will be a big part in Allar reaching that ceiling.