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Young Penn State players push for bigger roles; the Lions’ unsung hero, and more

Today’s Penn State football news headlines feature a need for young players to emerge and ESPN’s take on the Lions’ most indispensable player to this point in the season.

Penn State coach James Franklin mentioned this week the possibility of leaning on young talent when Iowa comes to Beaver Stadium on Saturday. That could be especially true at the wide receiver position, where true freshmen Jahan Dotson, Daniel George and Justin Shorter are pushing for bigger roles.

Tyler Donohue of Lions247 has more on the Lions’ young players to watch.

Speaking of Penn State’s wideouts, their struggles are well-documented and perhaps overshadow the remarkable start by redshirt freshman K.J. Hamler. He was listed by ESPN’s Tom VanHaaren as the Lions’ unsung hero to this point.

VanHaaren wrote: 

Quarterback Trace McSorley gets most of the attention when it comes to Penn State’s offense, and for good reason. McSorley and running back Miles Sanders have been a big part of the Nittany Lions’ defense this season, but Hamler has been a big contributor as well. He leads the team in touchdown receptions with five and also helps in the return game on kickoffs and punts. He ranks 16 of all FBS kick returners averaging 26.57 yards per return. Hamler has yet to break a return for a touchdown, but he is a big play waiting to happen.

In other Penn State football news, the Lions could have more heartache in their future if the wide receivers don’t transform. Jonathan Sutherland is ready for a major role, and Trace McSorley isn’t getting the help he needs.

PennLive’s Bob Flounders, Greg Pickel and Dustin Hockensmith also talk Penn State football on the Keystone Sports Network. Check out audio from their latest podcast below.

Those headlines and more highlight today’s Penn State football news roundup:

Penn State-Iowa game predictions: Underdog in this game might be no underdog at all: Hockensmith [PennLive]

Midweek Report: Brown, Dotson, Parsons push for bigger roles: Donohue [Lions247]

The unsung hero for each top 25 team: staff [ESPN]

Penn State vs. Iowa prediction: More PSU heartache unless wide receivers transform: Bodani [York Daily Record]

Why Penn State safety Jonathan Sutherland — aka ‘The Assassin’ — is ready for major role vs. Iowa: McGonigal [Centre Daily Times]

Penn State’s 4 keys: The Lions’ blueprint to a victory over a rugged Iowa side: Flounders [PennLive]

How would James Franklin evaluate assistant David Corley and the WRs? Here’s what he said: Moyer [Centre Daily Times]

Penn State linebacker Jan Johnson: From scout team to scholarship: Juliano []

McSorley not getting help and his stats show it: Jones [PennLive]

Receiving numbers tell story of potential and mistakes: Jones []

Breaking down the 2 key matchups to the Penn State-Iowa game: Moyer and McGonigal [Centre Daily Times]

Penn State mailbag: Have the Lions lost their identity, and where is Ricky Slade?: Wogenrich [Allentown Morning Call]

5 on 5: Iowa scouting report for Penn State fans: Brennan [Fight On State]

Geno Stone fulfills dream of playing at Penn State, only as member of Iowa Hawkeyes: Johnson [Cedar Rapids Gazette]

Open practice observations: Filipovits [Roar Lions Roar]

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