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Offseason report: Breaking down the Nittany Lions position-by-position as training camp loomsThe college football season is just around the corner, meaning it’s nearly time for Phi Sig brothers to pull out their blue and white jerseys and other Penn State football gear in preparation for Penn State’s second season under head coach James Franklin.

It also means it’s time to start taking a look at where the Nittany Lions stand with training camp looming. So get caught up on who’s who and which players will step up to fill key roles for the Nittany Lions this season.

Last season the Nittany Lions struggled to run the ball and protect quarterback Christian Hackenberg. But although Penn State lost starters Miles Dieffenbach and Donovan Smith, the offensive line already appears to have a leg up on last year’s group. Penn State returns six players who started at least one game last season and a few new additions including junior college transfer Paris Palmer and former Stanford player Kevin Reihner will give the Nittany Lions options – and much needed depth – up front.

Take a closer look at Penn State’s offensive line here.

Those big guys up front will have to protect Hackenberg better than they did last season. Then, the quarterback absorbed a program worst 44 sacks. Hackenberg will need more time and more support from his teammates in order to turn in a better season. It could be his last one as most NFL Draft pundits and NFL scouts believe he is a lock to be a first round pick next spring.

Behind Hackenberg, Penn State has potential but not much experience. Get the lowdown on Penn State’s quarterback situation behind the strong-armed junior here.

As for the defensive side of the ball, the Nittany Lions were fueled by an aggressive, overpowering front seven last season. Specifically, defensive line coach Sean Spencer’s “Wild Dogs” made life easy for Penn State’s linebackers last season. Anthony Zettel and Austin Johnson are both back and ready to up their own professional stocks.

And while Penn State lost three of its most experienced defensive ends, there is plenty of talent in the pipeline ready to assume more gameday responsibility. Get the skinny on Penn State’s defensive line here.

It won’t be easy to replace a stalwart like Mike Hull, but defensive coordinator Bob Shoop has plenty of options at linebacker. Penn State’s most famous position group includes Nyeem Wartman-White – one of the hardest hitters in the Big Ten – who will step into the middle linebacker role once occupied by Hull.

Brandon Bell and Jason Cabinda add athleticism to the linebacker corps.

On the other side of the ball, Penn State seemingly has more receivers than it will have balls to go around. DaeSean Hamilton and Geno Lewis are back after teaming up to form a solid 1-2 punch last season and the Nittany Lions have a handful of youngsters looking to get involved in the offense.

Those receivers will have to battle a deep defensive backfield throughout camp.

Although Penn State lost three senior safeties, a bunch of newbies got a lot of playing time last season. What will sophomores Grant Haley, Christian Campbell and Marcus Allen contribute in Year 2? The ceiling for this group appears very high.