These Penn State football players who saved their starting spot for 2024

Penn State is losing plenty of talent to the NFL and James Franklin was aggressive in the transfer portal, but these three players showed enough in 2024 to ensure that they won't be losing their spot on the depth chart next season.

Penn State Nittany Lions linebacker Kobe King (41)
Penn State Nittany Lions linebacker Kobe King (41) / Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
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LB. Redshirt junior. Kobe King. Kobe King. Kobe King. . player. 491. .

From 2022 to 2023, Kalen’s brother Kobe increased his snap count from 310 to 393 but was still behind Abdul Carter and Curtis Jacobs on the depth chart. Jacobs only played a half against Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl and Abdul Carter was limited in the second half after a first-half ankle injury, so King was on the field for a season-high 62 snaps. 

It didn’t exactly go well for the Penn State defense that day, as they gave up 38 points in the loss, but King finished with six tackles to bring his total to 41 on the season with two sacks. King will need to play even more as a redshirt junior next season with Jacobs in the NFL and Carter, hopefully spending more time rushing the passer. 

The defense won’t change a lot under new defensive coordinator Tom Allen, but Allen likes to utilize a more hybrid edge/linebacker which is where Carter will almost certainly fit in. 

Franklin didn’t add a linebacker in the transfer portal, so apparently he’s comfortable with King and DeLuca patrolling the middle of the field. Senior Tyler Elsdon may work into that rotation, but King's team-high 33 stops in the run game and only 7.2 yards allowed per reception, make him the best candidate to fill the vacated snaps.