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Penn State Football: Five Players To Watch During The Blue White Game

by on April 17, 2015 2:00 PM

The Blue-White game is equal parts interesting and unhelpful.

On the one hand fans get to see what Penn State might look like this coming season. On the other hand the amount of meaningful snaps taken by most of the starters is minimal.

As a result, strong performances can often be disregarded and the outcome is rarely an indication of how Penn State will fare when the games really matter.

Even so, there are still plenty of things to watch that could give you a glimpse into the future. These performances are worth keeping an eye on even if the final score doesn't really matter.

QB No. 9: Trace McSorely

If/When Christian Hackenberg leaves Penn State after this season someone on the current roster will likely be tasked with replacing him.

The top pick to do that as of today is probably McSorely. As a result, his time under center on Saturday could be noteworthy. You might not be able to establish his potential by the end of a scrimmage, but he's an X-Factor everyone has wanted to see for some time now. Couple that with the fact that teammates think McSorely could be really good and you've got the attention of the Beaver Stadium press box.

OT No. 73, No. 58: Paris Palmer/Chance Sorrell

The departure of Donovan Smith opens up a big hole to fill at the left tackle position on the offensive line. Paris Palmer is the likely candidate to take over that role but is still a few months from being where he should be. That being said, getting an idea of where he is in the learning curve and simply his physical state is worth watching. If Palmer isn't ready by the end of August, Sorrell is a reasonable replacement and in turn worth watching as well. Playing on opposite teams in the Blue-White game ought to give them both plenty of reps.

RB No. 24, No. 8: Nick Scott/Mark Allen

Akeel Lynch is the known, and Nick Scott and Mark Allen are the unknowns to fill in behind him. One or both of these running backs are going to play a big part in Penn State's season and Saturday is the first chance to see what they have to offer. Mark Allen is a bit ahead in this particular race to be No. 2 behind Lynch, but a lot can happen between now and the start of the season. Assuming that Lynch doesn't play for long on Saturday, these two ought to rack up a few carries. Feel free to throw Johnathan Thomas into the mix as well (No. 20.)

LB No. 40, Jason Cabinda

Brandon Bell and Nyeem Wartman have played their fair share of games, but Jason Cabinda is going to get his first taste of significant action this year. Even if Penn State isn't calling super aggressive defenses on Saturday, Cabinda will continue to get his feet wet as the three linebackers look to replace Mike Hull. 

WR No. 3,  DeAndre Thompkins

Forever alleged to be one of the fastest guys on the roster, Thompkins ought to have an opportunity to show off his speed on Saturday. It's hard to say right now where he fits into the rotation, but if he's fast and he's consistent, it will be hard to keep him off the field.

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Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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