Penn State's 10 players who need to take next step in winter conditioning

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Penn State's 10 players who need to take next step in winter conditioning

Daily 1-11
Penn Sate running back Noah Cain's production suffered thanks to numerous injuries. Can be finally be healthy in 2022? (Steve Manuel BWI)

This week Penn State football enters its winter conditioning period during the spring semester of 2022. Every offseason it’s a critical time of year for player development, and this year is no different. The mantra in football has always been “bigger, faster, stronger,” so every player needs to improve at this time of year. With a disappointing 2021 in the rearview mirror, several players need to take full advantage of the winter conditioning period and take the next step. Host Thomas Frank Carr has his top 10 players that need to do that this offseason.

Penn State’s top 10 players starts in an unlikely place

He starts at ten with an unlikely position and player when you think of winter lifting. Yet, this corner begins the list for several key reasons, including usage pattern, size, and playing style. His development can also help one particular problem that the Penn State defense has this offseason. It’s a problem that will populate the list with candidates.

The injury group

The players coming in at number nine and eight are here because they need to make up for lost ground. Two Penn State contributors have struggled to overcome injuries and need this time of year to make real strides on their way back. Both are presumed healthy at this point and can be starters in 2022 with the proper recovery and advancement in their physical skills.

Penn State’s young talent

The following three Penn State players on the list are younger players who need to keep their developmental curve going. The first player, coming in seventh, is a presumed starter in 2022 and needs to make good the promise of his potential from last season. The following two are dark-horse candidates to win playing time next season if they take a serious step forward in their physical development. Both are along the line of scrimmage, and one is possibly the key to unlocking a best-case scenario on the offensive line.

This player can solve a big problem

The player checking in at number four on the list is similar to the previous group but is much more of a wildcard. It’s clear from his profile that he will need to get bigger and stronger before starting, but it’s unknown if he has the skills to do so just yet. Nevertheless, if this player delivers on a high-profile recruiting ranking, he can change Penn State’s plans in the offseason and alter the starting lineup on defense in a positive way.

Penn State’s biggest priorities

Of the final three players, two were defacto starters last season and are likely top of mind when thinking of Penn State defenders that need to get bigger this offseason. The other is here for a practical and symbolic reason regarding what he means to Penn State’s future.