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Penn State Football: Three Freshmen Set For Week 1 Debut

by on August 29, 2017 2:30 PM

The post-Paterno era at Penn State hasn't been short on freshmen faces popping up across the board and in the starting lineup. That won't be changing in 2017 either according to coach James Franklin.

With the Nittany Lions' set to face Akron this weekend at least three freshmen will take the field and burn their redshirt seasons right off the bat. All of whom have spent much of the spring and summer turning heads and living up to the hype along the way.

"We've got a handful of guys that we're talking about playing as true freshmen," Franklin said during his Week 1 press conference on Tuesday. "And I think that's Lamont Wade. I think that's Yetor Gross-Matos, and I think that's Castro-Fields. We have three that we plan on burning their red shirts right from the beginning of the season. That could change as the season goes on, and those three, like I said, are Yetor at defensive end and Lamont Wade and Castro-Fields at corner."

All things considered the new is more or less as expected, Wade enrolling early this past January, the biggest piece to the 2017 recruiting haul. His contribution was almost guaranteed off the bat, and his spring and summer performances did little to slow that down.

As far Gross-Matos at 6-foot-5 and the speedy Castro-Fields both have been frequent mentions by Franklin and his staff during training camp. All three contributing to a defense not short on questions or potential answers.

The rest of the depth chart doesn't lack a freshman flavor, but it remains to be seen which of the newest Nittany Lions make a meaningful impact on the 2017 campaign. For now, they're waiting in the wings.

"The other guys are listed to complete a three-deep," Franklin added. "And they are up with the varsity from a training perspective and practice, but we don't plan on playing those other guys on Saturday. Those guys are all probably considered yellows at this point, where if we have any injuries, then their status will go from yellow to green, which I think you guys have heard us talk about this in the past."

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