Spring Training heats up in anticipation of Blue and White Weekend

Spring Training heats up in anticipation of Blue and White Weekend

This weekend, on April 16, football returns to Happy Valley for the annual Blue and White game. Scheduled to start at 2 p.m. in Beaver Stadium, fans and students will begin to get excited for fall ball with a spring scrimmage to end the semester.

This year, Blue and White weekend has special meaning due to the influx of new coaches, emerging leaders, and players set to return who have made big strides in the offseason. One of the biggest unknowns is how the offensive line will handle the upcoming season.

Returners like senior Brian Gaia (Pasadena, Md.), redshirt junior Andrew Nelson (Hershey, Pa.), redshirt junior Brendan Mahon (Randolph, N.J.), and senior Paris Palmer (Plymouth, N.C.) are all looking to be impact players this season under the guidance of offensive line coach, Matt Limegrover.

“One thing that has really impressed me since I’ve been is that there is a real hunger amongst my group,” said Limegrover. “With being a new offense… my hope is that come April 16 my guys have a good idea of what we are fundamentally trying to accomplish as an offense and a foundation of what needs to continue to be built upon when we get back together in August.”HP-Banner-Blue-White-4.16

Another hot topic of conversation is the incredible depth Penn State has when it comes to running backs.

Saquon Barkley (Coplay, Pa.) looks to build upon his impressive freshman career with an even more stellar sophomore season.

“I’ve been impressed with how humble is,” said head coach James Franklin. “For a guy who’s gotten a lot of attention in a short amount of time, he’s handled it very, very well.”

Barkley addressed the media for the first time ever this past week.

“I think I’m doing a good job, I’m trying to work on becoming a complete back… trying to work on leadership, pass blocking, and picking up the blitzes,” said Barkley of his spring training goals.

Other talent to watch for is Mark Allen (Hyattsville, Md.), a redshirt freshman who saw playing time in eight games this past season, rushing for 110 yards and gaining 44 receiving yards. Allen notched two touchdowns in 2015.

With their feet on the ground and their heads firmly on their shoulders, the entire Penn State squad is excited to toss around the pigskin this Saturday to kick off what will be a successful 2016 season. We hope to see you in Beaver Stadium this weekend!