Penn State football has wrapped up its annual Blue-White game for the 2023 season. I was personally able to attend this year and wanted to share my thoughts on who impressed me during the game.
As the boots on the ground, I will start by saying, the weather was not ideal at all. Of course, moments after the final whistle the sunshine broke through and it became the perfect day. That’s just how it goes for State College, PA.
Onto the game itself, I was super impressed with the defense all day. It wasn’t just the normal studs that were making plays, it was the depth on the defensive side of the ball that stood out today.
Defensive end – Dani Dennis-Sutton who enters his sophomore season in 2023, he was practically unblockable during the Blue-White game. It’s easy to tell he has been putting the work in this offseason because his first step looked quick. For DDS, it isn’t just rushing the passer he has the full package. He was making stops across the field on run plays as well. This season could be his breakout season, and keep in mind this is a guy who isn’t even a projected starter at the moment. This speaks to the depth the defensive line has in 2023.
Safety – Kevin Winston Jr was another player on the defensive side of the ball that was phenomenal during the Blue-White game. He isn’t afraid of the contact that was confirmed during the game, he is also willing to make those extra-effort plays by sprinting across the field to make a tackle. He sure can to fly to the ball and assist with group tackling efforts. This is the 4th safety on Penn State football’s roster considering Keaton Ellis, Jaylen Reed, and Zakee Wheatley are likely ahead of him still. However, Winston Jr is someone that will be special at Penn State.
Linebacker – Tony Rojas is a true freshman that enrolled early. Everyone raved about his athleticism during his recruitment and they were 100% right. He will certainly play outside linebacker at Penn State due to that athleticism and what impressed me the most about his preformance was, his ability to drop into pass coverage against wide receivers and tight ends. I don’t think Rojas will have the Abdul Carter-type season in 2023; however, he will be hard to keep off the field.
Wide receiver – Omari Evans scored the lone touchdown in the 2023 Blue-White game. He has improved from the end of last season until now. What I noticed about Evans is his size, he looks like he has bulked up his body during the offseason and now he’s able to take more contact instead of beating everyone with his speed. You can tell Drew Allar has great chemistry with Evans and that showed today. The WR room is loaded, but Evans made a case for significant playing time with his performance during the Blue-White game.
The Blue-White game wasn’t the most exciting thing to watch due to its lack of explosive plays; however, it was still very enjoyable to watch Penn State football and see the young core this team has in 2023.