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.
Continuing this effort is a look at a potential starter on the offensive line, Drew Shelton. After filling in for the injured Olu Fashanu in the last month of the 2022 season, Shelton could be lining up for a possible starting job on the opposite end of the line this fall for the Nittany Lions. Here is a snapshot look at the young offensive tackle.
Hometown: Downingtown, PA
[4-stars] | [No. 3 in Pennsylvania] | [No. 12 overall offensive tackle]
Class of 2022
Class in 2023: Freshman
Penn State was easily considered a bit of a favorite on the recruiting trail for Drew Shelton in the Class of 2022. With Shelton being among the top-rated recruits from Pennsylvania, James Franklin and his staff worked hard to make sure he didn’t leave the state.
Shelton committed to Penn State in September 2020, although he did go on to receive an offer from Florida State and made an official visit to Florida before signing with Penn State in the early signing period for the Class of 2022.
Drew Shelton wasted no time getting involved on the offensive line in a significant role. Shelton appeared in seven games and was thrown into the starting role for five games last season to fill some massive shoes due to the injury to Olu Fashanu. Shelton closed out the year starting every game in the month of November and then the Rose Bowl against Utah last season.
With Olu Fashanu coming back for another season with the Nittany Lions rather than heading off to the NFL, Shelton could still be a starter on the line. But it would come on the opposite side at right tackle instead of the left tackle position anchored by Fashanu this season.
Shelton could still be the top backup option behind Fashanu if necessary, but he could be in the mix for a starting job at right tackle. Caedan Wallace is the other top option for the right tackle position heading into the fall. Shelton’s experience on the playing field as a starter last year should help him grow and learn to be a better option than he would have been a year ago.
Penn State also has other stud backup options in the making with freshmen Alex Birchmeier and J’ven Williams joining the program in the Class of 2023. A year from now, Shelton could be fighting off either Birchmeier or Williams for a starting job on either side of the line.