Penn State college football 2021 preseason: Everything you need to know about practice, news, recruiting, schedule and more (2024)

After three top-10 finishes in four years, Penn State got off to the worst start in program history in an abbreviated 2020 season, but it won its final four games to create renewed optimism heading into 2021. Now, James Franklin and the Nittany Lions have a new offensive coordinator in Mike Yurcich, the return of the White Out planned for Sept. 18 against Auburn and momentum on the recruiting trail with a bounce-back Class of 2022.

What’s in store for the Nittany Lions in the 2021 season? Find everything you need to know about Penn State here.

Preseason coverage

  • Penn State mailbag: Concerns about the defensive line? Two-back formations? Tight end potential?
  • Penn State does not plan on vaccine/testing requirements at Beaver Stadium, plus more AD Sandy Barbour takeaways
  • Breakout candidates: KeAndre Lambert-Smith, Curtis Jacobs and more players on the rise to watch
  • Penn State preseason intel: 19 things to know about the 2021 Nittany Lions, from a new offense to rising stars to watch
  • What I saw and heard at Penn State football media day: New coaches, new offense, position switches and more
  • What Adisa Isaac’s injury means for Penn State’s new-look defensive line: Who will step up at end?
  • 10 Penn State preseason storylines to watch as the Nittany Lions open practice
  • Penn State at Big Ten media days: Jahan Dotson, teammates want to return to Lucas Oil Stadium for title game
  • Jahan Dotson is racing against himself to one-up a standout year and bring Penn State back from a down one
  • With Noah Cain back, Penn State’s deep backfield is primed to show what it can do at full strength

2021 season coverage

  • Stewart Mandel’s Big Ten conference predictions: Ohio State is still Ohio State but watch out for Wisconsin
  • Big Ten 2021 football preview: Can anyone beat Ohio State? Will Michigan bounce back? Predictions and players to watch
  • State of the Program: Penn State and James Franklin aim to prove last year was an anomaly with a revamped offense and a return to normalcy
  • Brandon Smith, Jaquan Brisker make Bruce Feldman’s annual Freaks List
  • College football 50 things countdown: I can’t wait for Penn State’s White Out to bring the energy back
  • College Football Transfer Portal Top 100: Eric Gray, Arik Gilbert and the most impactful movers of 2021

Penn State in the news cycle

  • ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 are publicly committed to each other. So what’s next for the alliance?
  • Entering perhaps a new phase of realignment, the Big Ten knows it must act quickly
  • Sean Clifford and other QBs on how they’re preparing for NCAA’s name, image and likeness changes
  • What Penn State told recruits about name, image and likeness changes during official visits
  • How would the 12-team College Football Playoff have changed the last 10 years? Ripples from Alabama to Penn State to Coastal Carolina
  • Penn State plans return to full capacity for fans at Beaver Stadium, all campus sports venues in fall 2021

2021 Nittany Lions schedule


Sept. 4


Sept. 11


Sept. 18


Setp. 25


Oct. 2


Oct. 9



Oct. 23


Oct. 30


Nov. 6


Nov. 13



Nov. 20


Nov. 27


2021 Nittany Lions roster

  • Penn State offensive depth chart projection: Who’s the No. 3 WR? What will the RB rotation look like?
  • Penn State defense, special teams depth chart projection: New starters on the D-line, crowded safety race and more
  • Penn State’s offensive position groups: How the Nittany Lions have recruited and where they return production
  • Penn State’s defense by position: How the Nittany Lions have recruited and where the most production returns

Latest in recruiting

  • 2022 Nittany Lions class analysis
  • How Penn State changed its Pennsylvania recruiting approach for a turnaround in Philadelphia and beyond
  • Penn State lands top target Dani Dennis-Sutton as its 2022 recruiting class hot streak continues
  • Pennsylvania Recruiting Confidential: Is Penn State rebounding? What drives Ohio State’s success? Where does Pitt stand?
  • Nicholas Singleton commitment is biggest statement yet for Penn State’s in-state recruiting turnaround
  • How Ohio State’s national recruiting plan opened a valuable door for Penn State
  • Inside a Penn State football recruiting visit weekend: Arboretum brunch, golf cart tours and a pool party
  • Mike Yurcich’s longtime recruitment of Penn State quarterback commit Drew Allar

Features, enterprise and everything else

  • Penn State and Packers great Dave Robinson still has plenty of stories to tell, from Joe Paterno to Vince Lombardi
  • Penn State 2021 football fan survey results: Your thoughts on the state of James Franklin’s Nittany Lions
  • How Penn State’s Parker Washington formed a quick bond with WRs coach Taylor Stubblefield en route to a breakout year
  • Mike Yurcich’s unusual path to Penn State, from Shippensburg through the Big 12
  • Ty Howle is eager to give back to Penn State as a coach: “I owe this place so much”
  • New Penn State assistant Anthony Poindexter earned his reputation as a “natural-born leader” at Virginia

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(Illustration: Wes McCabe / The Athletic)

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Penn State college football 2021 preseason: Everything you need to know about practice, news, recruiting, schedule and more (13)Penn State college football 2021 preseason: Everything you need to know about practice, news, recruiting, schedule and more (14)

Audrey Snyder has covered Penn State since 2012 for various outlets, including The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Patriot-News and DKPittsburghSports. Snyder is an active member of the Association for Women in Sports Media (AWSM) and is the professional adviser for Penn State’s student chapter. Follow Audrey on Twitter @audsnyder4

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