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Ten Penn State Players Standing Out During Spring Practice

Coach James Franklin said some newcomers and veterans have caught his eye this spring.
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Penn State coach James Franklin cited a few transfer players, seniors and young players among the standouts during spring football practice.

Franklin recently acknowledged that newcomers often emerge early, simply because they're new to the field. Yet Franklin highlighted a number of players, along with the tight ends and running backs in general, who have made a good impression this spring.

Here's a look:

Junior defensive end Arnold Ebiketie (Temple transfer): "Arnold was a really nice pickup for us. And he's a really good kid. He's been a great fit for us, and we're pretty excited about him. ... He stood out in winter workouts, and you're probably biased a little bit because it's a fresh set of eyes, so the guys you don't know as well, they probably stand out a little bit more."

Sophomore cornerback Johnny Dixon (South Carolina transfer): "I would say Johnny Dixon has stood out on the football field. He had to kind of figure out the winter workouts and work through that part of it, but he has stood out on the football field. Again, the new guys that just seem to jump out at you a little bit more because you're evaluating them with a fresh set of eyes."

Freshman cornerback Kalen King, who enrolled early, is "another guy who falls into that category," Franklin said. King made two interceptions at Penn State's April 16 scrimmage and has drawn raves for his preparedness and approach. Cornerbacks coach Terry Smith said last week that King and his twin brother Kobe, a linebacker, "are as mature as you're going to get as freshmen."

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Junior receiver Jahan Dotson: "At the end of last season he was playing as well as anybody. But now coming into this year he's coming in with a buzz, and there's a lot of excitement and anticipation about it. And I think he's had a really good offseason in the weight room. He just looks physically different, and that's going to be something that's going to be important for him as well."

Sophomore offensive lineman Rasheed Walker: "He's practicing the way he needs to practice to be the type of player that he wants to be. I've seen a real change in him."

Junior offensive lineman Mike Miranda: "He's a guy who just continues to steadily get better." Miranda has been repping at center as the replacement to Michal Menet.

Junior quarterback Sean Clifford: "Sean's on a mission. After two years ago, having a really good year as a first-time starter and then as a program us having challenges last year, I've seen a lot of growth from him."

Senior safety Jaquan Brisker: "Obviously Brisker came back for a reason. He's jumped out to me."

Junior defensive tackle PJ Mustipher: "He's a lead-by-example guy in everything that he does. I'm super proud of PJ, and he just continues to attack it the way you want."

Senior cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields: "You can make the same argument about him. It's probably the group of young guys that you're evaluating for the first time that stands out to you. And there are those seniors who came back for a reason and they're kind of on a mission. They're the guys who stand out to you the most."