LB Abdul Carter
There may not have been a more pleasant surprise for Penn State football last season than true freshman linebacker Abdul Carter.
After being ejected on his first career drive against Purdue, Carter came back with a vengeance the rest of the season.
He finished the season second on the team with 56 tackles, while also racking up 10.5 TFLs and 6.5 sacks. His productive season was a big reason why Penn State’s defense was so good in 2022.
His stats are even more impressive when you factor in the fact he was not a full-time starter until about the halfway point of the season. He was playing the WILL position, which is the position Curtis Jacobs moved to in 2022.
Realizing that he could not keep Carter off the field any longer, defensive coordinator Manny Diaz began to move Jacobs back to the SAM position, which he played in 2021.
Now, Diaz has a full offseason to figure out how he can make Carter and Jacobs work on the field at the same time, all the time.
Carter himself should also feel more comfortable knowing he has an assigned position heading into the season and really doesn’t have to worry about battling for playing time.
Carter is a freak athlete who already flashed signs of greatness, he now heads into 2023 with a season of experience under his belt and a better understanding of Diaz’s defense. Watch out for No. 11 in 2023.