Blue White Roundtable: Alabama Week Edition
September 7, 2011 – | 1 Comment

Once again, it’s Adam Collyer over at BlackShoeDiaries providing the questions, and we, your humble bloggers, providing the answers. Mine are below, and you can venture off to the remote areas of the blogosphere that …

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Counting Down the Lions: #13

Submitted by on August 29, 2009No Comment

In joining Charlie’s Top PSU moments, we’ve added another daily countdown feature here at quebecpenspinning. We’ll be measuring up the 50 most important players to Penn State’s success in the 2009 season. You may have noticed that we’ve slacked off a little lately, but expect a few double 15doses of Counting Down the Lions until we’re all caught up.

Checking in at lucky #13 is the projected starter at right tackle, who will hope to add some stability to an unproven offensive line: DeOn’tae Pannell.

Pannell wore #75 as a freshman, before switching to #50
Pannell wore #75 as a freshman, before switching to #50
Number: 50
Position: Offensive Tackle
Class: Sophomore
Height: 6’5
Weight: 313
Hometown: Southfield, MI
How’d He Get Here: Pannell was a star, playing both sides of the line in high school.  A three-year starter at left tackle, and a member of the Detroit Free Press “Dream Team” as a senior, Pannell added 8 sacks as a defender.  As he became known as a national prospect, his coach had some glowing words to say about him:

“He’s the best player and best person I have every coached in 15 years. He has it all..”

Pannell was rumored to be waiting out an offer from the Michigan Wolverines, and even though the 4-star prospect would eventually receive one, in addition to scholarship offers from Michigan State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Minnesota, and West Virginia, he would eventually pick Penn State, deciding during the summer of 2007.  It was an unlikely snag for Penn State, but they managed to fill a major need in the 2008 recruiting class by pulling Pannell out of Michigan.
2008 Results: Stuck behind veterans at both left and right tackle in Gerald Cadogan and Dennis Landolt, Pannell had difficulty cracking the lineup for the Nittany Lions as a true freshman.  Still, he saw playing time in 8 games for Penn State, and practiced as the second-string left tackle, behind Cadogan.  It was Pannell’s showing during the summer practices that turned heads along the coaching staff, as he proved that he wasn’t going to need a redshirt season.
What to Expect in 2009: Pannell was practicing at left tackle throughout the spring practice, starting there during the Blue/White Game.  However, over the summer, Joe Paterno decided that he’d prefer the experience of Landolt protecting Daryll Clark’s blind side, giving the nod to Landolt and his experience rather than the raw talent of Pannell.  Still, he’ll be the unquestioned starter at right tackle, and the fact that he was even considered for the LT position tells you what Penn State and its coaching staff thinks about Pannell.  Though he might now offer, at first, the dependability that Landolt offered in 2008, but once he becomes acclimated to Big Ten play, Pannell should be a solid addition to the Penn State starting lineup.
The Final Word: DeOn’tae Pannell will be the starter at left tackle for the Nittany Lions.  Just not yet.  He’s got great size and strength, and it’s not hard to imagine him following in the footsteps of so many great Nittany Lions at that position before him.  Though Penn State isn’t quite ready yet to move forward with him protecting Daryll Clark’s blind side just yet, it would seem that once Dennis Landolt graduates that the position is Pannell’s to lose.  As a right tackle, Pannell should be fine this year.  Of all three positions along the line that were not yet settled coming into summer practice,  I fully expect Pannell’s right tackle slot to be the least of Penn State’s concerns.  Though we haven’t seen much of DeOn’tae on the field yet, the actions of the coaching staff speaks volumes about how they feel about the young man.  I figure we, as a fanbase, should yield to them when it comes to Pannell.

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