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Penn State Football: Offseason Mailbag

by on February 09, 2016 6:00 AM
University Park, PA

Penn State's 2016 football season isn't short on storylines and unanswered questions. From the state of the offense to who exactly will play quarterback to finding new stars on defense, there is a little bit of everything to talk about.

But of the fans? Those are the questions that keep the conversation going, so here are five question from Twitter about the upcoming season to keep the long offseason flowing with discussion.

New wideouts and tight ends to watch?

Brent Wilkerson isn't exactly a new name on the roster but he's in a good position to make a more meaningful impact in 2016. At the wideout position the two big guys, Irvin Charles and Juwan Johnson will be a towering 6-foot-4 asset for a new quarterback to work with. It's unlikely either will overtake Chris Godwin as the No. 1 guy, but it's hard to ignore that much size.

6-foot-4, incoming freshman Danny Dalton will likely work his way into the rotation this year as well. Especially if Mike Gesicki doesn't have the kind of year everyone expected him to have in 2015.

Over/Under 8.5 wins?

This one is hard to say, because essentially the question is, can Penn State win nine games in 2016? In truth that's hard to see happening. The Nittany Lions have to beat a lot of good teams to pull that off and they have to do it while working in a new quarterback and a new offense. It's not impossible, but it's going to require doing things Penn State hasn't done in years with a team probably a year from being good enough to win nine games.

Anything is possible, but nine wins doesn't seem likely. Not unless Barkley and Co can carry the load.

Franklin on the hot seat at all next year?

Short version, not unless everything goes way worse than it ought to. Penn State is recruiting well, the depth is coming back and so is the skill. Putting Franklin on the hot seat means people are expecting him to win a lot of games with a new quarterback a "newish" coaching staff and a not overly favorable schedule. 

Year three should be his best on paper, but there are questions still yet to be answered. If Hackenberg was still around, the answer might be yes. But not as things stand today.

Best game to wait for?

If Penn State's season is as up and down as it's bound to be, a late season meeting with Iowa should be a fun second to last home game of the year. Iowa is rebuilding and Penn State will either be better than expected or in need of a win late in the season. The Pitt game will be a close second, but chance are that game will be more hype than jaw-dropping football by either teams.

Miles Sanders redshirt?

Given that Franklin hasn't been one to shy away from long term decisions instead of short term success this isn't unreasonable. This is especially true if the often forgotten Andre Robinson has a good summer. If Penn State can find a way to get a secondary back behind Saquon Barkley that isn't Sanders but is still productive then it wouldn't be a shock. There is a lot of football between now and that decision, but it's hard to imagine Franklin burning that redshirt if he doesn't have to.

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