With spring football done and the academic school year in the books, Penn State football is three months away from its 2022 season opener at Purdue, scheduled for Thursday night, Sept. 1.
The day is getting closer, but there are still more than three months and plenty of work to do for Penn State’s players as they await a chance to improve upon 2021’s 7-6 record.
The summer months may feel like they’re lagging for Penn State’s players who want to perform in front of a crowd again, but for redshirt freshman receiver Liam Clifford, the younger brother of sixth-year quarterback Sean Clifford, there’s more anticipation than anxiety about the months ahead.
“I would say it’s more excitement,” Clifford told reporters at Penn State’s second-year player availability Wednesday afternoon. “Everybody’s excited for the season to start, but we have to take it one day at a time.”
Safety Jaylen Reed, a four-star recruit from the 2021 class, is certainly ready to take on an increased role.
Like his teammates, however, all Reed can do between now and September is continue to work on his skills when no fans are watching to ready himself for when thousands are.
“It’s challenging,” Reed said, “but we’re focusing on doing whatever it takes to get to that (Week 1) game, so we’ll be ready whenever that times comes.”
Reed is one player Penn State fans will be watching particularly close in 2022, as will offensive lineman Landon Tengwall.
Tengwall didn’t see any action as a freshman until the second-to-last regular-season game against Rutgers, but fans expect the highest-rated recruit of Penn State’s 2021 class to start and contribute heavily to Penn State’s offensive line.
How is he handling the increased expectations from Year 1 to Year 2?
“I’d say it doesn’t really affect me,” Tengwall said. “I really don’t like to read my own stuff or anything. But I really don’t let anything affect me in the media, whether it’d be negative or positive.”
Tengwall hopes to become one of the Big Ten’s best offensive linemen, but the main thing on his mind is helping Penn State win a conference title.
“We want to be able to really run the ball, and then obviously, as a team, we’re going for a Big Ten championship,” Tengwall said. “That’s the goal. I think, if we do those things, my personal goals will follow suit.”
Hear from Clifford, Reed and Tengwall, as well as, QB Christian Veilleux and TE Khalil Dinkins below.