Going into the 2023 football season, Nittany Lions Wire will be looking at each scholarship player listed on the Penn State roster. Over the preseason, each profile will cover where the player is from, how recruiting websites rated them coming out of high school, and what role they will play for James Franklin this season.
Today we take a look at perhaps Penn State’s top NFL draft prospect on the roster in 2023, offensive tackle Olumuyiwa Fashanu. Fashanu’s decision to come back for another year of college football was a surprising one for NFL draft experts who had Fashanu as a likely first-round draft pick in 2023. That should be great news for Penn State’s offensive line outlook, which looks to be its best under James Franklin heading into the fall. IT starts with the return of Fashanu. Here is a snapshot look at Fashanu heading into the 2023 college football season.
Preseason Player Profile
Hometown: Waldorf, MD
247Sports Composite Ranking
After appearing in nine games with one start in his 2021 season, Fashanu took a big step forward in 2022 with eight starts at left tackle before suffering a season-ending injury. In those eight games, Fashanu allowed zero sacks in 281 pass-blocking snaps, and he was named by the coaching staff as the team’s offensive player of the game twice in September following road wins at Purdue and Auburn.
Fashanu was named a second-team All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation and third-team All-American by Phil Steele. Fashanu also earned all-Big Ten honors from the coaches and media despite playing a shortened season.
Fashanu was projected by many draft analysts to be a possible first-round draft pick in 2023, but he surprised many with his decision to return for another season with the Nittany Lions.
Depth Chart Overview
The return of Fashanu to the offensive line gives Penn State one of the top left tackles in the Big Ten, and possibly the nation, to rely on protecting sophomore quarterback Drew Allar this season. Fashanu helps solidify what may be the best offensive line James Franklin has had as head coach at Penn State.
Backing up Fashanu and gaining valuable experience as a starter for the final five game of the season last year, including the Rose Bowl, was Drew Shelton. Shelton could remain the top backup for Fashanu at the left tackle position, but he may also be aiming for a starting job at right tackle after gaining some playing time last fall. Even if Shelton does land the right tackle starting job, he could be the first option to move to left tackle behind Fashanu if necessary.
The future of the left tackle position looks to be in terrific shape. After Fashanu, and potentially Shelton, Penn State has added five-star left tackle J’ven Williams in the Class of 2023. Williams could likely be the next in the line of succession at the position, maybe even as early as 2024.