With training camp still in its early stages, the Penn State Nittany Lions find themselves dealing with the injury bug. The most significant injury from this past week is a back injury to tight end Brent Wilkerson. It’s still unclear how much time he’ll miss, but Wilkerson’s injury opens the door from true freshman Adam Breneman.
Losing Wilkerson is a big blow to the Nittany Lions, as some people, including myself, felt the redshirt freshman could have a big impact this season. After a strong spring, he was expected to see significant playing time and add another wrinkle to the Penn State passing attack.
It’s no secret that head coach Bill O’Brien loves to utilize the tight end position as a pass-catching weapon. Three of Penn State’s top five receivers last season were tight ends. Clearly, having a few options is a key to the Nittany Lions’ offense.
With Wilkerson sidelined, there is now an opportunity for Breneman to step in. Due to the depth at tight end and his own major injury that kept him out last season, it was possible that Breneman may have been given a redshirt for 2013. However, that now seems to no longer be an option.
Breneman is a very talented player who was one of the top recruits at his position in the class of 2013. He was a consensus 4-star prospect who was highly sought after by several top schools. His value lies in his ability to line up at different positions and make use of his speed and solid hands.
When the Nittany Lions signed Breneman, he came with high expectations, but again, it would not have been a surprise to see him given a redshirt. However, with the recent injury to Wilkerson and his timetable labeled only as “awhile,” look for Breneman to see the field early on this season.