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Penn State Football: Miranda The Latest Example Of Penn State's Growing Depth

by on April 06, 2017 2:00 PM

Penn State's offensive line woes have been about as well documented as any aspect of the program over the past six years.

The 'why' isn't a short answer but largely boils down to a lack of depth which in turn was the result of of scholarship restrictions. In a 'normal' year Penn State may have had a few options at each position, as of late there has hardly been a wide array of choices.

But that's changing.

That change was evident in 2016 as the Nittany Lions made their way through a historic season, not only did Penn State have depth on the offensive line, it had talent too, and the entire team reaped the benefits.

In 2017 that trend has only continued, in fact James Franklin expects the offensive line to be a strength of the team for the first time in forever. Penn State will finally have a true DEPTH chart with talent and options in the trenches. If you're a fan, that's an exciting prospect.

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The best example of this might be Mike Miranda, an early enrollee who has gotten work in with the first offensive line unit and has held his own in the process.

"He's taking a bunch of reps right now, really with the ones, and doing a nice job." Franklin said on Wednesday.

What makes Miranda an interesting case study in Penn State's growing depth is the simple fact he might not even play. Just a few years ago Miranda could have found himself on the fast track to playing, now he's on a much more productive and tradition track of player development, already established players ahead of him on that track.

And so the best news Penn State might get this summer is that some of its most promising talent might not have to see the field in 2017.

But for now, coaches are simply watching.

"We need to figure out who Miranda is, we have to figure out who Lamont Wade is, we have to figure out who Will Fries is; guys that, we've had an opportunity to see them, but haven't really taken 45 reps during practice," Franklin said. "Are they going to be able to sustain it for the length of practice and those types of things? There are a number of guys like that who are getting a bunch more opportunities like that right now."

"We're allowing guys to compete and probably wouldn't make any changes until camp," Franklin added. "Guys are having opportunity, we have a legit two-deep at most positions, and the competition has been good."



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