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  Penn State is known for its gritty defensive line play and ability to reach the quarterback on passing plays. But with the grittiness comes injuries. Two key factors to Penn State's defensive line - defensive end Adisa Isaac and defensive lineman PJ Mustipher - both fell to season-ending injuries in 2021. Isaac, a redshirt junior, injured his Achilles prior to Penn State's opener and Mustipher suffered a leg injury in the first drive of the team's 23-20 loss to Iowa on Oct. 9 last year. Isaac, a 6-4, 248-pound edge rusher, played in 14 career games for the Nittany Lions - totaling 27 tackles (nine solo), 4.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and a forced fumble. Mustipher played in 36 games, making 107 tackles (49 solo), 10 for loss with three sacks, a fumble recovery and two forced fumbles.

Defensive line coach John Scott Jr. is excited to see what the duo can do, and looks to continue pushing them to be prepared to get back onto the field. "I just think any time you come back from a major injury one of the most important things that I can do as a coach is to be there as an encourager," Scott Jr. said during Penn State Media Day on Aug. 6. "Some days, coming back from injuries you can have a rough day or whatnot, but we just have to be there and encourage them and be their support." Recovery was tough to navigate for Isaac. The redshirt junior's Achilles tendon was torn and rehab usually takes about a year. While he continued to face new challenges, he wanted to keep an optimistic attitude throughout the whole season, as he watched his team compete without him. "It was a new journey for me," Isaac said. "I've never been hurt this severe in my life, so it was just something new that I had to take on. Had to keep a positive mindset from the start to the finish, and that's what I'm still doing. I tried not to switch anything up because I feel like it's working. I'm improving every day." - Centre Times

rSr/2024 DE Adisa IsaacPenn State
News Source: Centre Times

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