The top 10 players returning to the Penn State Nittany Lions for the 2020 college football season.
Important to note that this list is based upon last year's data and film from on each specific team as well as judgment based upon the player's position both his skill and the level of talent around him at the said position and influential cohorts. Positional value also plays a large factor in these rankings as does the offensive or defensive scheme.
1. Micah Parsons, LB
2. Pat Freiermuth, TE
3. Shaka Toney, Edge Defender
4. Michael Menet, C
5. Journey Brown, RB
6. Jaquan Brisker, S
7. Lamont Wade, S
8. Tariq Castro-Fields, CB
9. Sean Clifford, QB
10. Jayson Oweh, Edge Defender
Honorable Mention: PJ Mustipher, DI; Ellis Brooks, LB; Rasheed Walker, T; Will Fries, T; Devyn Ford, RB
Parsons is the do-it-all linebacking prospect for the 2020 season and the 2021 NFL Draft. He's probably the top linebacker in all of college football this season and he wasn't far from it last year. There is quite literally nothing that Parsons doesn't do at an elite level whether it's rush the passer, drop back into coverage or stuff running backs at the point of attack. You will hear his name quite a bit in reference to just about every major college football award, and that is rightfully so.
Then there's Freiermuth, arguably the nation's top tight end not only this college football season but for next year's NFL draft. He's a huge man with really safe hands but also possesses a strong set of blocking skills, both in the run game and in pass protection if it so calls for it.
Toney is the next man up on the defensive line, and likely the next in a long line of PSU defenders to successfully make the professional leap. He can rush the passer from a variety of alignments and rush the passer well from those. Menet and his tackle duo of Walker and Fries are among the best in the conference at their positions as is Brown, who should carry the majority of the load this season.
There's the tried and true defensive back duo of Brisker, Wade and Castro-Fields as Brisker has shown arguably the best coverage skills among the trio. He may not be targeted as the primary coverage defender often, but he makes his fair share of plays on the ball regardless.
If Clifford can play to his potential, he rises in these rankings, and the Nittany Lions are a playoff team.