STATE COLLEGE — Adisa Isaac was expected to play a vital role on Penn State’s defensive line last season.
That was until he suffered a torn Achilles’ while training last summer.
“It was getting extra work and trying to get better over the summer,” Isaac said Saturday after the Blue-White Game. “It was just a freak accident. Random. Uncontrollable. It happened and now we’re back better.”
The Nittany Lions hope so. The 6-4, 244-pound Isaac most likely will start at defensive end with Nick Tarburton and replace NFL-bound Arnold Ebiketie, who played superbly last year in Isaac’s place.
“The defensive line (stood out in the spring), just having Adisa back,” Penn State coach James Franklin said. “He had a chance to be a really special player last year. Having him back, it’s great to see that athleticism coming off the edge.”
Isaac made a splash two years ago in a reserve role with 13 tackles, 1.5 sacks and two quarterback hurries. He spent last season watching from the sideline and learning.
“I learned a lot about myself and my body,” Isaac said. “You just have to put a lot into your body. Now that I had that injury, it made me focus on the pregame, postgame, everything that comes with it.
“It helped me to put it all together mentally. Being on the field and watching helped me get a different perspective, like a coach’s perspective in a way. It really helped.”
Berks report: Freshman running back Nick Singleton, the former Gov. Mifflin standout, scored from the 3-yard line on his first carry in front of a Beaver Stadium crowd.
It was during the first session of the Blue-White Game when the Lions were working on two-point conversions.
Singleton was credited with four carries for minus-1 yard and one catch for 27 yards by Penn State.
Warwick grad Grayson Kline, who also played at Wilson, saw action at tight end but was not credited with a catch.
Also, Wilson grad Kalen Brown is no longer on the Penn State roster. He enrolled last year as a preferred walk-on and played in four games on special teams. He was twice named the Developmental Squad Player of the Week.
Brown has placed his name in the NCAA transfer portal, according to a source close to his family.
Missing players: Wide receiver Parker Washington, tight end Theo Johnson and linebacker Tyler Elsdon were among the players who did not see action Saturday.
Penn State does not disclose injuries, so it was unclear why they did not play.
Elsdon, a sophomore and a North Schuylkill grad, competed with redshirt freshman Kobe King during spring practice to be the No. 1 middle linebacker. King made five tackles Saturday.
“We had a great competition at Mike linebacker between Elsdon and Kobe,” Franklin said. “I would say as a staff they were better than we anticipated. We’re a little bit further ahead than we thought we’d be.”
Curtis Jacobs is the only returning starter at linebacker after Ellis Brooks and Brandon Smith opted for the NFL. Jacobs and converted safety Jonathan Sutherland likely will start on the outside.
Young quarterbacks: Redshirt freshman Christian Veilleux and true freshmen Drew Allar and Beau Pribula saw most of the action at quarterback Saturday.
Veilleux completed 5-of-14 passes for 75 yards, according to the Penn State stat crew. Allar was 6-for-14 for 61 yards with two interceptions, and Pribula was 2-for-3 for 7 yards.
“Sean (Clifford) and Veilleux had really good springs,” Franklin said. “The two young guys (Allar and Pribula) really flashed some potential.”
Award winners: Safety Ji’Ayir Brown and tackle Olu Fashanu received the top spring awards at halftime of the Blue-White Game.
Brown received the JIm O’Hora Award as the defensive player who the coaches felt showed the most commitment in spring practice. Fashanu received the Red Worrell Award as the offensive player who showed the most commitment.
Barney Amor, who’s competing to be the starting punter, received the Coaches Special Teams Award.
Tight end Tyler Warren and defensive end Nick Tarburton received the Frank Patrick Total Commitment Award.
Source: Berkshire mont