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Penn State Football All 105

Penn State All 105: Reading’s Joey Schlaffer Competing in Deep TE Room

Photo by Mark Selders, Penn State Athletics: Joey Schlaffer

It’s rare for a Penn State football player to meet the definition of “Penn State guy” more than Joey Schlaffer.

He grew up in Reading, which is Penn State country.

His brother played for James Franklin before making it to the NFL.

Now, Schlaffer is looking to carve his own legacy in Happy Valley. He plays a position where plenty have made their mark at Penn State over the past decade. Since coach James Franklin took over in 2014, Penn State’s had at least one NFL-caliber tight end every season. Will Schafer follow in line? We’ll find out soon enough. But in the meantime, he’s the latest subject of All 105, a Nittany Sports Now series profiling each Penn State football player.

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 233 pounds

Hometown: Reading, Pennsylvania 

Before Penn State: Schlaffer’s PSU ties run deep. His older brother, Michael Menet, was Penn State’s starting center from 2018-20, twice being named All-Big Ten. Menet, like Schlaffer, excelled for Exeter Township. Schlaffer came to Penn State as a three-star recruit, committing in October 2021. Before signing with Penn State, Schlaffer had an excellent senior season, going for 879 yards and nine touchdowns on 38 receptions. He ended his career with the all-time county records for receiving yards (2,493) and touchdowns (28).

Last year: Like most freshman, Schlaffer redshirted his first season.

Where he stands: Even with Penn State losing Theo Johnson to the NFL, there’s still a lot of potential in the tight ends room. Tyler Warren is the clear cut No. 1 at this point but after that, it’s really anybody’s game. Behind Warren, Khalil Dinkins is the most experienced one, coming into his fourth season. Many feel that true freshman Luke Reynolds, Penn State’s only five-star ‘24 signee, has the most upside. Schlaffer and classmate Andrew Rappleyea also have plenty of upside, and they’ll be part of a big batch competing for playing time. Penn State ran a lot of two-tight end sets in Mike Yurcich’s offense, and with the talent in the room, there’s no reason to think it won’t do the same under new OC Andy Kotelnicki.

A quote by Schlaffer: ”I was aware that high school and college football at a place like this are two completely different things. My brother (former Penn State center and three-year starter Michal Menet) is a perfect example. He got redshirted and then didn’t play much his second year either. “He told me before I got here that it’s very rare to come in and start or get really good minutes as a true freshman. It’s a grind. People work a long time to get a starting spot at a place like this.” — Schlaffer at this year’s second-year player media availability this past February, via Rich Scarcella of the Reading Eagle.

A quote about Schlaffer: “Joey was primarily used as a receiver in high school, so he’s had to make leaps with the blocking. He’s working at that. Then obviously physically. Adding weight and strength has been a big focus and being able to block defensive ends.” — Tight ends coach Ty Howle to reporters via Zoom last September

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