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Penn State Football: Three Players Poised For Breakout Seasons On Defense

by on July 28, 2017 2:00 PM

Penn State is just days away from starting training camp for what has become a highly anticipated season following the Nittany Lions' Big Ten title and Rose Bowl appearance.

As Penn State heads into the upcoming season now is as good of a time as any to try and guess which Nittany Lions will go from a familiar face to a household name. 

So today, here are three defenders who might just be poised for a breakout year.

Cam Brown:

At 6-foot-5, Brown is maybe the most impressive physical specimen in the linebacker corps. He isn't exactly unknown having racked up 33 tackles and playing in 13 games last season, but with Brandon Bell out of the picture Penn State is looking to answer depth issues at linebacker, Brown is as good of choice as any to answer the call.

Less tangibly, Brown just looks the part and has an "it" factor that makes him stand out on the field. Don't be surprised if he's a big part of Penn State's big moments next year.

Curtis Cothran:

Having moved inside from the defensive end position last season, Cothran started eight games last season while playing in 10 total. Much like Brown he isn't exactly an unknown, but his speed makes him stand out at a position where getting into the backfield can be the difference in each and every play.

At both linebacker and on the line Penn State has plenty of choices, it's just a matter of who takes advantage of those opportunities. Mark down Cothran as the next great DT at Penn State.

Troy Apke:

Apke started just one game last season but was one of just 12 defensive players to see the field in all 14 games. There is a good chance that Apke doesn't start, but with John Reid out for the season the rotation will require even more Apke on the field. Apke is as seasoned as they come in the secondary which doesn't exactly make him an unknown player, but his role and impact might the biggest yet as a senior.

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