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Penn State is not yet ready to name its 2024 captains, giving players more time to 'earn it'

Greg Pickelby:Greg Pickel06/13/24

GregPickel

James Franklin addresses Penn State White Out Game, Offense during Summer Update

STATE COLLEGE — Penn State coach James Franklin announced three of the program’s eventual captains for the season following the Blue-White game in 2023. No such announcement was made following this year’s spring scrimmage at Beaver Stadium. Every year, and team, is different. Over Franklin’s first 10 years here, he has had a various number of captains, and their selection has been revealed at different points of the calendar. In other words, it’s not exactly a major revelation.

Yet, building on Franklin’s recent one-on-one interview with BWI’s Nate Bauer, during which he stressed the program’s push for player leadership, it’s another sign that, despite some good candidates vying for the role, none have already separated themselves from the pack in the eyes of their teammates to earn that right as summer workouts roll on.

“We did a vote [a couple of weeks ago], and a lot of times, we do that vote right before the summer starts because we would like to go in to the summer with some of that leadership,” Franklin said Thursday. “But, we only make the decision if there’s clear and obvious guys in terms of the vote. Like, if there was one guy dramatically on defense, one guy dramatically on offense that got enough votes, or on special teams to make that decision now, [we would]. And, it wasn’t.”

It’s unclear if Penn State will again have two captains each for the offense, defense, and special teams like it did last year. Either way, only linebacker Dominic DeLuca could be a second-year captain. The rest will carry that honor for the first time.

Penn State players now have more time to ‘earn’ captain role

Penn State returns numerous upperclassmen who have demonstrated captain material. Players like quarterback Drew Allar, running backs Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen, center Nick Dawkins, guard Sal Wormley, defensive tackle D’Von Ellies, linebackers Dom DeLuca and Kobe King, safeties Kevin Winston Jr., and Jaylen Reed, snapper Tyler Duzansky, and punter Riley Thompson all come to mind among other possibilities.

All of them, and any other member of the roster we didn’t list above, will vie to earn their teammates’ respect this summer in a way that elevates them to the point of joining a storied fraternity in Nittany Lion lore.

“[Not naming any captains yet] will give us an opportunity to continue to evaluate, give the players more time to earn that from their teammates and from the staff, and then we’ll vote obviously probably a couple of weeks in the camp like we traditionally have.”

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