10 players to watch out for in the Croke Park Classic

The University of Central Florida will face off against Penn State University in the Croke Park Classic, which takes place in Dublin on August 30th.

There is a whole series of events taking place around the game. Temple Bar will become a Croke Park Classic fanzone over the weekend from Thursday, August 28th to Sunday August 31st providing travelling fans and locals with an area to mix and mingle and get behind their chosen teams. Both teams Pep Rallies will be hosted here on Friday 29th and the pre-game Tailgate Party will also take place here on the morning of Saturday 30th. Dublin Bus will offer a complimentary shuttle service from Temple Bar to Croke Park to take fans from the Tailgate to the game. To see the full guide to all Croke Park Classic events, download the GridIron Guide Dublin.

The spectacle will offer a full day’s entertainment for all the family featuring parachute jumps, the Penn State marching band, Extreme Rhythm, The Dublin Gospel Choir, cheerleaders, team mascots and the Super 11’s. Tickets including a special August Family Ticket Offer are still available for the event.

The following 10 players are ones to watch out for:

 Saeed Blacknall


4 star Wide Receiver



Blacknall is a four-star prospect from Manalapan (New Jersey) High School. He flipped a long-standing commitment to Rutgers in favour of the Nittany Lions for their offense and more stable coaching staff. Coach James Franklin recently introduced a new, energetic coaching staff at a Penn State.

Koa Famer

Defensive back



Farmer has the athleticism and physical build to make contributions right away, and he's better positioned to see the field with few proven veterans ahead of him on the depth chart. He's a big hitter and has experience playing both safety and line-backer.

Christian Hackenberg




Reigning Big Ten freshman of the year. A potential future No. 1 overall draft pick and a former five-star prospect.

Mike Gesicki

Tight end



One of the top tight end prospects in the nation, Gesicki possesses a rare blend of size and speed.

A three-sport star, he was selected to play in the U.S. Army All-America game for football and nominated to play in the McDonald’s All-American game for Basketball.

Cole Chippialle

Running back



He gave the most impressive performance during Penn State's annual Blue-White spring game came from a relatively unknown walk-on who happens to play a position that's easily the NittanyLions' deepest

Special teams coordinator Charles Huff, has praised Chiappialle for being a player who "does the little things right”.

Justin Holman




The quarterback battle has been the hot topic of the spring, and it may not go away any time soon.

Many people expect Holman to step into the starting spot after playing the role of backup last year.

Jackie Williams

Wide Receiver



The 5-foot-11, 190-pound receiver amassed more than 1,700 yards at UAB before transferring to UCF. He has only one year left of eligibility, but looks to figure in as a major contributor right away.

Sean Galvin




All Irish eyes will be on the Cork native scholarship student.Galvin grew up playing soccer, Gaelic football, hurling and rugby. He says that playing Gaelic as a child, definitely developed his kicking ablity. 

JJ Worton

Wide receiver



In 2013, Worton delivered what many consider the top play of the college football season in a 39-36 win at Temple.

His diving, one-handed, touchdown reception, with 1:06 left in the fourth quarter tied the game at 36-36, and capped a 10 catch, 179 yard, 3 touch-down effort. Check out the play here 

Rannell Hall

Wide receiver



Hall was named a member of the American Athletic Conference All-Academic Team and was selected as the team’s Outstanding Wide Receiver at the postseason awards banquet.

Last season, Hall started all 13 games for the Knights and totalled 886 receiving yards on 57 catches. He also had five touchdown receptions. 

He was named to the 2014 Biletnikoff Award watch list. The award is given to the nation’s outstanding college receiver by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation.

Tickets are on sale for the Croke Park Classic through ticketmaster.ie and tickets.ie