Penn State Players in the NFL: Week 2
As the second week of the NFL season has winded down, we have a chance to reflect on how some ex-Nittany Lions have continued their yearly campaign. There was a notable amount who were making fans happy by having impressive performances.
Barkley continued to impress as he added to his outstanding week one performance with another strong week. Due to the New York Giants falling behind in the game early, Barkley was limited to just 11 carries in which he compiled a pedestrian 28 yards. Where Barkley really shined was in the receiving game. He reeled in 14 of his 16 targets for a game-high 80 yards. In week one, Barkley showed his prowess in the running game, and now in the second game he proved to everyone is a multi-dimensional running back. Fellow players and experts have been raving about the number two overall pick and we are seeing why early on in the season.
In his first season as a Chicago Bear, Robinson has shown that despite tearing his ACL a season ago, he has not lost a step. Robinson finished with 10 receptions for 80 yards, leading the team in receiving for the second straight contest. There were a handful of doubters about what level of production Robinson would bring coming off the injury, but he has shown he is back in the same form that brought him a 1,400-yard season in 2015.
Godwin continued his strong start to the season by totaling five reception for 56 yards. He also found his way into the end zone the second straight week. Coaches in the Buccaneers’ system have stated that they see Godwin turning into a primary option in the offense and we are getting a glimpse of what he is capable of doing. Godwin has proven that he can be a reliable receiver in the slot and also a dangerous red-zone weapon. It will be fun to see if Godwin can keep up his hot start and possibly even become even more of a problem for opposing defenses.
It is not very often that we see tight ends put up the stat line that Jesse James recorded on Sunday at Heinz Field. James made the most of his five receptions and racked up a whopping 138 yards as well as a touchdown on the day. Although only receiving five targets on the day, he managed to secure them all en route to a team high in receiving yards. James has established himself as a big play guy, using his 6’7” frame to carve out space in the opponent’s defense. James is just 24 years old and there is reason to believe he is just scratching the surface of his capabilities.
Penn State lacrosse was also represented on Sunday with Hogan finding his way into the endzone on two occasions despite only logging three catches. In his time in New England, Hogan has shown his ability to find the weak spot in the secondary and get behind safeties. Despite having just 42 yards on the game, Hogan still made his presence felt with his touchdowns. It’s hard to contain a man like Hogan, as it seems he always makes the most of his targets.
Gould continues to be one of the most reliable placekickers in the NFL by knocking in all of his attempts on Sunday. He knocked in field goals from 36, 42 and 45 yards as well as his three extra point attempts. Gould is inching his way towards becoming one of the top-25 all-time scorers in NFL history and with the way he has been performing, it won’t be long until he does.
Penn Staters have clearly been making a profound impact on their respective teams and the players have shown no sign in slowing down anytime soon. It seems like not a game goes by in which a former Nittany Lion isn’t getting his name called. With just two weeks under their belt, Penn State alumni will look to continue their seasons with more strong performances.
Nick Mazone is a junior who is majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in digital media trends and analytics. To contact him, email NickMazone@nycap.rr.com.