Appalachian, Offensive Line

Penn State's Offensive Line sets up for the play at Beaver Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018.

It’s no secret that Penn State wanted to bring in plenty of talent along the offensive line in the 2020 class, especially after missing out on key targets one season ago on the recruiting trail.

After four offensive linemen verbally pledged to become Nittany Lions during the month of April, it’s fitting that the first commitment in June followed suit, with four-star Washington D.C. tackle Olu Fashanu joining the class just after spending the weekend in Happy Valley on a visit.

But, what is Penn State actually getting in the No. 5 player in D.C. and the 32nd rated tackle in the class? To get a better look at that, we headed to the film room.

The first play listed on his highlight reel is a good place to start, as Fashanu, wearing No. 77 and lined up at left tackle, takes off to make a crucial block on a screen play. Not only does this play show off Fashanu’s ability to move on such a large frame, it also shows he’s in control of his body. Instead of over-pursuing and allowing the much smaller defensive back to elude him, he’s able to set his feet and made a strong block, creating a successful play.

Here, lined up in the same position as before, Fashanu makes his way to the second level nicely, getting a nice block on the linebacker and allowing the running back to find an alley. Once again, Fashanu does a nice job of setting his feet and not over-pursuing.

Offensive linemen are usually considered the unsung heroes of football, because they don’t normally get credit for touchdowns or big plays. This play is different, however, as Fashanu does a really nice job in two categories. First, he helps out his guard with a strong push, taking the defensive end completely out of the play. Then, he makes his way to the linebacker, giving the running back just enough time to plunge into the endzone.

One piece of criticism on this play could be that Fashanu didn’t stay on his block as long as he could’ve, but he still got the running back into the endzone to put points on the board.

Still lined up at left tackle, Fashanu shows off his pass blocking ability here, allowing the defensive end to take himself out of the play. Fashanu does a nice job of keeping his feet moving, and doesn’t allow the defender to get him crossed up which in turn gives his quarterback, 2021 Penn State target Caleb Williams, an opportunity to step up in the pocket and make a clean throw.

Since everyone loves pancake blocks, it’s fitting that the final play of this review is one of Fashanu’s many pancakes. As you can see above, Fashanu is a mountain of a man — standing at six-foot-five and 320 pounds. Lined up against a much smaller defender, Fashanu’s size and strength immediately take over as the defenders knees buckle and both players tumble to the ground.

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