Penn State’s players, coaches and fans only have so many opportunities to step inside Beaver Stadium.
The 15th practice of the spring, which James Franklin considers to be one of the program’s annual “family reunions” will unfold in a couple of weeks in Beaver Stadium. The Blue-White game on April 21 will cap spring drills as the program turns the page to the next phase of the offseason.
Standouts of the spring game don’t always translate to big-time contributors come fall, but there’s certainly a lot to observe both in terms of depth and potential breakout candidates during the Blue-White game.
Penn State spring game 2018: Date, time
Time: 3 p.m. ET
Date: Saturday, April 21
Location: Beaver Stadium, University Park, Pa.
Penn State spring game 2018: TV channel
The Nittany Lions’ 2018 spring game will be broadcast live on Big Ten Network. Penn State Sports Network and GoPSUsports.com will also provide coverage.
Penn State spring game 2018: Tickets
No tickets are required for the annual event, which is free and open to the public. However, there is a parking charge. Season ticket holders were issued their Blue-White parking pass along with their season passes, while day of parking (cash only) will be available. Advance parking passes can be purchased over the phone until April 6, or in person at the Bryce Jordan Center until 4:30 p.m. on April 20. Beaver Stadium parking lots will open at 8 a.m on April 21.
Penn State spring game storylines
Replacing Saquon Barkley will be a task that falls on the shoulder of several players, but on the other side of the ball the Nittany Lions have several starters to replace. Questions about a successful season will likely be dictated by how the defense comes along, which is why there will be many eyes focused on coordinator Brent Pry’s defense during the spring game.
Gone is middle linebacker Jason Cabinda and so too are both of the 2017 starting safeties. Cornerback Grant Haley won’t be suited up and neither will either of the starting defensive tackles last year as they all prep for the NFL.
April 21 will be the first time Penn State fans get an up close look at those vying to fill the voids left by Cabinda, Haley, Marcus Allen and Troy Apke, among others. It’s also the first time 5-star signee Micah Parsons, who enrolled in January, will put on LaVar Arrington’s old No. 11 and run out of the tunnel.
Parsons moved from Mike to Will already this spring and expect there to be plenty of attention on the former Harrisburg High standout. Ellis Brooks, who redshirted last season, is vying for Cabinda’s old spot in the middle along with veterans Jake Cooper and Jan Johnson. What the pecking order looks like at all three linebacker spots — plus how the debuts go for January enrollees Jesse Luketa and Nick Tarburton — should be telling.
Penn State moved Lamont Wade from corner to safety this winter, but at the midway point of spring ball the projected starters were Garrett Taylor and Nick Scott. Scott brings experience while athletic freak Ayron Monroe has long been an intriguing option, but saw limited reps thus far due to injury. John Petrishen and Jonathan Sutherland, whose hard hits during developmental scrimmages last year impressed teammates, will be worth keeping an eye on.
Up front, the Nittany Lions will continue using a rotation of defensive linemen. Damion Barber is in the midst of his first spring with the team and part of his impressive weight gain since he arrived last summer resulted in him moving inside. The former defensive end should have plenty of opportunities, especially in the spring game where Rob Windsor and Kevin Givens are the team’s two top tackles and beyond them there are plenty of questions.