2017 Penn State Nittany Lions football
Fiesta Bowl champion
Lambert-Meadowlands Trophy
Fiesta Bowl, W 35–28 vs. Washington
ConferenceBig Ten Conference
DivisionEast Division
CoachesNo. 8
APNo. 8
2017 record11–2 (7–2 Big Ten)
Head coachJames Franklin (4th season)
Offensive coordinator
  • Joe Moorhead (2nd season; regular season)
  • Ricky Rahne (1st season; Fiesta Bowl)
Offensive schemeSpread
Defensive coordinatorBrent Pry (2nd as DC; 4th overall season)
Co-defensive coordinatorTim Banks (2nd season)
Base defense4–3
CaptainTrace McSorley
Jason Cabinda
Nick Scott
Marcus Allen
Tyler Davis
Grant Haley
DaeSean Hamilton
Saquon Barkley
Home stadiumBeaver Stadium
(Capacity: 106,572)
← 2016
2018 →

Template:2017 Big Ten football standings The 2017 Penn State Nittany Lions football team represented Pennsylvania State University in the 2017 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The team was led by fourth-year head coach James Franklin and played its home games in Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania. They were a member of the East Division of the Big Ten Conference.

Penn State entered the season as defending Big Ten champions, and were ranked sixth in the preseason AP Poll. The team won its first seven games by an average margin of victory of 30 points, including a 42–13 rout of No. 19 Michigan, and rose to second in the AP Poll. In a highly anticipated road match-up against No. 6 Ohio State, Penn State lost by a score of 38–39. The following week, the team fell again on the road to Michigan State. These would prove to be Penn State's only losses, as they finished the regular season tied for second in the East Division with a conference record of 7–2. They were invited to the 2017 Fiesta Bowl, where they defeated Washington, and finished the season at 11–2 and ranked eighth in the final polls.

The team was led on offense by running back Saquon Barkley and quarterback Trace McSorley. Barkley led the conference with 18 rushing touchdowns to go along with 1,271 rushing yards, and was named a consensus first-team All-American as an all-purpose back. McSorely's 3,571 passing yards and 284 pass completions also led the conference.[1] On defense, safety Marcus Allen was named first-team all-conference by the coaches.


Previous seasonEdit

In 2016, the Nittany Lions had their most successful season in recent years, having won no more than nine games in any of the preceding six seasons. They topped that with an 11–3 record in 2016, moving from an unranked position to a No. 5 ranking by the CFP, AP and Coaches polls. The Nittany Lions also won both the Big Ten's East Division and the Big Ten Championship, and they participated in the Rose Bowl.

2017 NFL DraftEdit

Nittany Lions who were picked in the 2017 NFL Draft or signed undrafted free agent contracts:

Round Pick Player Position Team
3 84 Chris Godwin WR Tampa Bay Buccaneers
UFA Malik Golden S Pittsburgh Steelers
UFA Garrett Sickels DE Indianapolis Colts
UFA Brandon Bell LB Cincinnati Bengals
UFA Evan Schwan DE New York Giants

Returning startersEdit


Player Class Position
Trace McSorley Junior QB
Saquon Barkley Junior RB
DaeSean Hamilton Senior WR
Saeed Blacknall Senior WR
DeAndre Thompkins Junior WR
Mike Gesicki Senior TE
Ryan Bates Sophomore OL
Connor McGovern Sophomore OL
Brendan Mahon Senior OL


Player Class Position
Kevin Givens Sophomore DL
Jason Cabinda Senior LB
Manny Bowen Junior LB
Marcus Allen Senior S
Grant Haley Senior CB
Christian Campbell Senior CB

Special teamsEdit

Player Class Position
Tyler Davis Senior K/P


Penn State's recruiting class consisted of 21 recruits, including four that enrolled early. Penn State's recruiting class was ranked No. 15 by Scout, No. 10 by Rivals, and No. 17 by ESPN.

Back B Center C Cornerback CB Defensive back DB
Defensive end DE Defensive lineman DL Defensive tackle DT End E
Fullback FB Guard G Halfback HB Kicker K
Kickoff returner KR Offensive tackle OT Offensive lineman OL Linebacker LB
Long snapper LS Punter P Punt returner PR Quarterback QB
Running back RB Safety S Tight end TE Wide receiver WR

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