Evan Royster emerges as a leader 

August, 5, 2010

Evan Royster could be one of the most underrated players in America. The Penn State Nittany Lions RB went for 1,169 yards last year (a year after going for 1,236). He's found the end zone 23 times as a rusher (plus twice as a receiver) during his time in State College. Last year he cleared 100 yards six times and had 95 rushing yards against Indiana. In 2008, when PSU went to the Rose Bowl, he cleared 100 yards five times, including 141 in a win over Oregon State and 174 (averaging about 10 yards per carry) in a win over Michigan.

He needs 481 more yards to pass Curt Warner as PSU's all-time leading rusher, as my colleague Adam Rittenberg discusses here.

I had the chance to talk to Royster in Chicago at Big Ten media days. We went over PSU's QB battle, the current role of Joe Paterno and how his career as a high school lacrosse standout helps him as a football player.

The Blue Ribbon preview of PSU (it has the Nittany Lions fourth in the Big Ten, behind OSU, Iowa and Wisconsin) is here. Everything about Big Ten media days can be found here.