Penn State is team to beat in Big Ten; plenty of options for Blue-White scrimmage
Penn State football is the No. 1 topic in We are… Awake every day — but we cover news, notes and analysis from across Nittany Lions sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Penn State football, recruiting, basketball and more.
Team to beat
When Trace McSorley takes the snap from center during the Blue-White scrimmage on Saturday, Saquon Barkley will not be there waiting to take the handoff. But that shouldn’t matter when picking a Big Ten favorite this season.
CBS Sports’ Barrett Sallee says that even though there is no Barkley, Penn State is still the team to beat when the Big Ten season kicks off this year.
Spot to watch
When the Nittany Lions take the field on Saturday for the Blue-White scrimmage, the starters will don the blue jerseys, the reserves the white.
The position to watch is middle linebacker and whoever starts there on Saturday may not when the season begins or it could be his job to lose, writes Pennlive’s Greg Pickel.
MORE: Want this roundup in your inbox every morning? Sign up here
5 more to watch
Middle linebacker isn’t the only position battle to watch during the final week of spring practice. There are plenty of positions that James Franklin and his staff would like to have a better feel about once the scrimmage is over.
Land of 10’s Audrey Snyder writes that one of those positions is defensive tackle, where Antonio Shelton’s progress will be a focus of the coaches.
Billy Fessler’s Penn State career won’t earn much attention, but coming from a high school powerhouse, Cathedral Prep in Erie, Pa., the quarterback gained plenty of attention when he walked on to the Penn State program.
Now his little brother is following suit. Henry Fessler will walk-on to the program as well as a wide receiver. The Daily Collegian’s Ben Jenkins picked up Fessler’s tweet on Monday announcing he would be joining the Nittany Lions this fall.
When he was being recruiting, former Notre Dame running back CJ Holmes was on Penn State’s radar. Holmes, who was expected to compete for the Irish’s starting running back spot this season, was dismissed from the team prior to the bowl game in January after being arrested for shoplifting.
Pennlive’s Greg Pickel, through SB Nation, writes that Holmes, according to social media accounts, was spotted on Penn State’s campus last weekend, possibly visiting and looking for a spot to land.
Miss previous editions of the Wakeup Call? They can be found here.