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Penn State RB Nicholas Singleton Reveals key Message From OC Andy Kotelnicki

Nick Singleton during pregame warmups.

There are many reasons Andy Kotelnicki is Penn State football’s new offensive coordinator. 

Kotelnicki, who PSU hired away from Kansas, had his reasons for taking the job, one of which being that he grew up a Penn State fan. 

Penn State had its reasons for hiring Kotelnicki. A big one was his track record. That included a successful three-year stint in Lawrence where he turned one of America’s worst statistical offenses into one of its best.

Of course, there were reasons Penn State head coach James Franklin decided to open up the offensive coordinator job to begin with. 

Although Year One of the Mike Yurcich era featured the revival of Penn State’s running game and ended with a Rose Bowl win– highlighted by two of the longest players in Rose Bowl history–, Year Two wasn’t as, well, rosy for Penn State’s offense.

Things got cloudy to the point where less than two weeks before the regular season ended, Penn State fired Yurcich. 

Many Penn State fans and media criticized Yurcich for not getting the most out of his best players, such as Nicholas Singleton.

Singleton, a five-star who signed with Penn State out of Governor Mifflin High School in Shillington, Pennsylvania, near Reading, lived up to the hype in his freshman season. He rushed for 1,061 yards, 12 touchdowns and averaged 6.8 yards per carry, with the cherry on top being an 87-yard run in the Rose Bowl, the third-longest in the game’s history. In Year Two, those numbers regressed to 752 yards, eight touchdowns and 4.4 yards per carry. 

It’s hard to pinpoint all the reasons for Singleton’s regression and even harder to predict what he’ll do in what will be his third season at Penn State and Kotelnicki’s first.

But it’s easy to see that, so far, Singleton enjoys working with Kotelnicki, and during a Zoom call with media late Thursday morning, he remembered a message Kotelnicki gave the offense.

“He told us straight up, he’s giving the best players the ball,” Singleton said.

How do you like that, Penn State fans?

In answering multiple questions about Kotelnicki, Singleton used the word “excited” a total of eight times. 

“He’s been really good ever since he’s gotten on campus, man,” Singleton said. “Everybody’s been building a great relationship with him. I’ve been building a great relationship with him. Just the offense he has, everybody’s excited about it, man. You can tell throughout practice, making plays and all that. So everybody’s hyped about it.”

So how is Penn State’s new offense different from what was there previously?

“You know, it’s more… I’m not going to compare it (to the last system) but, just, I’m excited,” Singleton said. “You can tell everybody’s excited. It gets me hyped. Coach Andy’s a really good coach. The plays he has installed for us, it’s been really good. It’s been working, too. So, I’m excited.”

Singleton isn’t the only PSU RB excited about Kotelnicki’s offense. 

“You get to do a lot of different things,” Kaytron Allen said earlier this spring via Greg Pickel of Blue-White Illustrated. “It isn’t just you standing in the backfield. You could be in the slot. You could be the outside receiver. You’re just doing different types of things to show our talents. It’s a great offense.

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