The 2012 Penn State Nittany Lions‘ football season was one that many teams hope they are never forced to be a part of.
Faced with heavy NCAA sanctions and descending deep into a negative image from virtually every person in the country, things weren’t looking good for the football program. Despite all of the problems, the team fought through the adversity caused by people from years before them, finishing 8-4 overall, going 6-2 in the Big Ten conference.
Head coach Bill O’Brien now enters his second season in the remodeling of the Penn State football image and looks to continue building his brand around Happy Valley. The Nittany Lions are still under sanctions for the 2013 season, but it is still important to establish a new foundation in the program and make it appealing for future players.
In order for the Nittany Lions to continue heading in the right direction, there are some key players who are going to be required to step up and contribute in the 2013.
On offense, the biggest key player on the entire team will be whoever wins the quarterback battle between Tyler Ferguson and Christian Hackenberg. The team already has playmakers established, all that is missing is quality quarterback play. If they can get solid production out of whomever wins, the team will win a lot of games.
Another key player will be wide receiver Brandon Moseby-Felder. He will be playing opposite Allen Robinson, who is possibly the best receiver in the Big Ten. Moseby-Felder will have many one-on-one opportunities and will also need to play good to free up Robinson.
On defense, two key players will be outside linebackers Mike Hull and Nyeem Wartman. They will face the task of replacing the unbelievable production of Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges, which is no easy task.
A key newcomer for the Nittany Lions will be freshman tight end Adam Breneman. Breneman was a five-star recruit and showed insane athletic ability before tearing his ACL during his senior year. Still, everyone saw what O’Brien did with Rob Gronkowski on the Patriots, and fans see the same type of potential with Breneman.