Noah Cain was having a solid start to his freshman season last year until an injury derailed his progress. The Penn State running back wanted to get back on the field quickly, but a lower-leg issue prevented him from seeing much action during the final month of the season.

Heading into the 2020 season, though, Cain believes he’s gotten even better. And now that he’s healthy, he could provide the Nittany Lions with another potent option out of the backfield in the fall.

“I feel as lean and as explosive as ever,” Cain said in a Zoom meeting, according to Audrey Snyder of The Athletic.

Cain rushed for 443 yards and eight touchdowns on 84 carries a year ago, helping Penn State to an 11-2 record. He rushed for over 100 yards in back-to-back victories against Purdue and Iowa and racked up 92 yards and two scores against Memphis in the Cotton Bowl.

But Cain suffered that injury against Michigan State, and from Penn State’s Nov. 9 matchup against Minnesota until the season finale against Rutgers, the freshman got just one carry because of the injury.

Cain says last year’s injury taught him not to come back too quickly.

“When your body says you can’t go, you can’t go,” Cain said.

This season, Penn State will have a loaded backfield, complete with Journey Brown, Devyn Ford and Cain. There are also two four-star running backs who will be arriving in State College — Caziah Holmes and Keyvone Lee — who could see some reps, too.

If Cain is back to full strength and is even better than he was a year ago, Penn State’s running back room will be the best in the B1G, possibly the country.