Penn State Football

What PSU greats Trace McSorley, Miles Sanders, Shareef Miller think of the 2019 Nittany Lions

Trace McSorley, Miles Sanders discuss following each other’s NFL careers

Former Penn State teammates Trace McSorley and Miles Sanders met up at the Philadelphia Eagles' practice facility as part of a joint practice between them and the Baltimore Ravens.
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Former Penn State teammates Trace McSorley and Miles Sanders met up at the Philadelphia Eagles' practice facility as part of a joint practice between them and the Baltimore Ravens.

Former Penn State greats Trace McSorley, Miles Sanders and Shareef Miller — three NFL rookies who spent the past three years together in Happy Valley — met up Monday for a joint practice between the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles, and they didn’t shy away from talking about the Nittany Lions.

The trio practiced together at NovaCare Complex, ahead of Thursday night’s preseason game, and they took a few minutes after practice to discuss the 2019 Nittany Lions and the players who’ll be replacing them this season.

Here’s what the Eagles’ Sanders and Miller, along with the Ravens’ McSorley, had to say:

QB Trace McSorley, Baltimore Ravens

2018 Penn State stats: 2,530 passing yards; 18 passing TDs; 7 INTs; 798 rushing yards, 12 rushing TDs

2019 NFL draft: Sixth round (No. 197 overall)

What McSorley said about PSU replacements Sean Clifford/Will Levis: “From Sean, I think I just go back to the approach he’s taken every single day since he arrived on campus. Really businesslike, very competitive, very hungry. And as he’s gone on through this year especially, I think he’s had a little bit of a chip on his shoulder with people saying this and that about him.

“Whether it’s right or wrong or different, I think it’s something that’s going to drive them to be better. He wants to lead this team and take them to good places. Honestly, I’d say the same thing about Will Levis. They’re both really good athletes and can throw the ball really well so, whoever ends up being in that (starting) spot, I think it’d be pretty good.”

What McSorley said about Penn State’s No. 15 preseason ranking in the AP Poll: “I think they’re going to surprise some people. They’ve got a lot of young talent, a lot of dudes — from what I’ve heard talking to a couple people — that are really hungry. So, honestly, I said a hungry team is scarier than a team that’s expected to do a lot.

“So I’m looking forward to being able to kick my feet up and watch what they do.”

RB Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles

2018 Penn State stats: 1,274 rushing yards; 5.8 ypc; 9 rushing TDs; 24 catches; 139 receiving yards

2019 NFL draft: Second round (No. 53 overall)

What Sanders said about PSU’s 2019 RBs: “For Ricky (Slade), I think he made a good impact as a freshman last year. In the first game, he had the first touchdown out of our running back room. So, talking to Coach (Ja’Juan) Seider, he’s taken a business approach every day and (he’s) getting better.

“It’s not just him, though. That whole running back room is full of dogs. Watch out for Journey (Brown), that other freshman, Noah (Cain) — and Devyn Ford. The whole running back room is talented, and that’s the mentality over there. Just compete.”

DE Shareef Miller, Philadelphia Eagles

2018 Penn State stats: 41 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, 5 QB hurries, 1 fumble recovery

2019 NFL draft: Fourth round (No. 138 overall)

What Miller said about the 2019 defensive line: “Yetur Gross-Matos is going to have another breakout year. Shaka Toney, from Philly, he’s going to have a breakout year, and Shane Simmons.

“They’re gong to be really good. They reload every year. That’s the motto there at Penn State with Coach (Sean) Spence. When I was there, any time we had guys that would go play in the NFL that did great things at Penn State and left, the media said the D-line would be this and that. All we did was reload and lead the Big Ten in sacks.”

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Josh Moyer earned his B.A. in journalism from Penn State and his M.S. from Columbia. He’s been involved in sports and news writing for nearly 20 years. He counts the best athlete he’s ever seen as Tecmo Super Bowl’s Bo Jackson.