Koa Farmer is a Breakout Candidate on the Penn State Defense in 2017

Koa Farmer could take a big step forward for the Penn State defense in 2017. 

Redshirt senior Koa Farmer has seen limited playing time while at Penn State, but that could change in 2017. Originally a defensive back, Farmer was moved to linebacker to help with some depth issues. He performed well when given the chance last year and should enter camp with a chance to win a starting spot in 2017.

Farmer is a versatile player who showed an ability to be an effective pass rusher last season. He finished the season with three sacks and has several highlight-reel big hits.

He appeared in all 14 games and made two starts. With Brandon Bell, Jason Cabinda, and Jake Cooper all injured, Farmer was called upon to start. He made five total tackles, including a sack against the Terps. He also started the Rose Bowl while Manny Bowen was suspended.

Although mainly in a reserve role for the season, Farmer finished 2016 with 29 total tackles.

Penn State’s situation at linebacker heading into 2017 isn’t exactly clear. Jason Cabinda should be locked in as the starter at middle linebacker, while Bowen will take one of the outside spots.

The second outside spot will come down to a battle between the likes of Jake Cooper, Cam Brown, and Farmer. No matter who actually wins the starting job, there should be plenty of reps to go around this season, as linebacker will once again be a bit thin.

Koa Farmer has great athleticism and a lot of potential. He could be in line for a boost in playing time this season and is a strong candidate to be a breakout player on the defense in 2017.

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