Nittany Lion Preseason Camp Underway; Captains Named

Nittany Lion Preseason Camp Underway; Captains Named

Our Nittany Lions have been hard at work this past week during preseason camp, sprinting, lifting, and strategizing their way to a season sure to make our student section roar.

Camp opened this past week in Beaver Stadium, and the energy in the air was tangible. Head coach James Franklin started camp off right with a brief press conference in which he described his and the team’s goals for the upcoming season. One of Franklin’s most notable statements was that he feels as though he has a “better understanding” of Penn State coming into his second season, and that he thinks “everybody is ready” to compete at a higher level than we have ever seen before. Likewise, Franklin praised the team for performing exceedingly well in the offseason, recording more than 2,000 hours of community service and boasting 51 team members who received a 3.0 or higher GPA for the semester. The total of 51 nearly breaks a Paterno-era record of 52 football players earning a 3.0 or higher in the offseason.

The defensive line, fondly known to many as Coach Sean “Chaos” Spencer’s “Wild Dogs,” is shaping up to be one of the Nittany Lions’ greatest assets this fall. Between the unstoppable Austin Johnson (Galloway, N.J.) and the formidable Anthony Zettel (West Branch, Mich.) along with some fresh names stepping up to the defensive plate, the defensive line is sure to be rock solid. In fact, Johnson has gained more than 15 pounds in two years, due largely in part to his increased weight lifting efforts. Zettel, an impressive 6’4” and 284 pounds, rose to prominence during the 2014 Michigan game, in which he snagged his first interception, converting it to a touchdown for the Nittany Lions. Zettel has also recently been named to the Lombardi Watch List, which is awarded to the nation’s top lineman or linebacker.

Penn State’s burning question about who would captain our mighty team this fall was finally answered late in the week when Coach Franklin announced that quarterback Christian Hackenberg (Palmyra, Va.), safety Jordan Lucas (New Rochelle, N.Y.), center/guard Angelo Mangiro (Roxbury, N.J.), linebacker Von Walker (Mill Hall, Pa.), and defensive tackle Anthony Zettel (West Branch, Mich.) would lead the Nittany Lions on and off the field this season. This marks Hackenberg’s second year as a captain for the Nittany Lions. All five captains represent the 129th selection of football captains here at Penn State. Captains are chosen based on a combination of academic merit, dedication to community service, and leadership on and off the turf.

Mark your calendars; Penn State’s first game is away at Temple on Saturday, September 5th with a 3:30pm kickoff!

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