All 105 is a Nittany Sports Now series profiling each Penn State football player. Here’s a profile of cornerback Kalen King
Before Penn State: A Detroit, Michigan native, King, along with his twin brother, Kobe, now a linebacker for Penn State, played high school football at Detroit Cass Tech.
By the time he left high school, Kalen King, a four-year letterman at Cass Tech who also played basketball and ran track, was a four-star recruit. Kalen King committed to Penn State in April of 2020 and, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings, was Penn State’s second highest-ranked commitment, behind only offensive lineman Landon Tengwall.
2021: As a true freshman, King played in all 13 games and made his first career start in the Outback Bowl against Arkansas. Per Pro Football Focus, he played 188 snaps at wide cornerback.
King and safety Jaylen Reed were the only two true freshmen to burn their redshirts in 2021.
Last year: In his first full season as a starter, King blossomed into one of Penn State’s best players. Playing opposite future Pittsburgh Steeler Joey Porter Jr., the two formed one of college football’s best cornerback duos.
King ended the season with three interceptions, one behind future San Francisco 49er Ji’Ayir Brown for the team lead. Looking at more advanced numbers, King had a 90.6 coverage grade, according to ProFootballFocus. King also broke up nine passes per PFF and had a low 48.9 passer rating against him.
Penn State CB Kalen King this season:
🔹 90.6 Coverage Grade
🔹 3 INTs | 9 PBUs
🔹 48.9 Passer Rating Allowed pic.twitter.com/bzfsI5Ie5u
— PFF College (@PFF_College) January 13, 2023
Where he stands: Plenty of Penn State players are coming into this season with question marks, but King isn’t one of them. He’s one of Penn State’s best players, and the only questions is, how good can he get, and could he be CB1 in the 2024 NFL Draft in addition to being Penn State’s top corner?
A quote by King: “It’s preseason for a reason. It’s like before anything happens — predictions and stuff — I don’t really get into predictions. But it’s definitely a good accolade to have, just people noticing the work you put in. Everything that I did last year is finally coming [into the] light. I am grateful for all of the accomplishments, but the work is definitely not done because now I have to actually be an All-American. I can’t just be a preseason [All-American].” — King from last month on being named a Walter Camp preseason All-American
A quote about King
“Joey [Porter Jr.] is a tremendous loss, but our job is to replace him and move forward and get better. I think we have an opportunity to be better in the room. Obviously, Kalen King is coming back — he has had a tremendous spring; he is completely dominating, and he is taking huge strides to get even better.” — Cornerbacks coach Terry Smith from last month on how Penn State’s CB room is shaping up with Porter off to the NFL.