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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Penn State
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  07/28/21 - Lonnie White Jr.Fr/2025, Penn State, 6-2, 210 (DS#999 WR) + More +

  One of Penn State football's top signees in the 2021 class will not be playing for the Nittany Lions. Four-star wide receiver Lonnie White Jr. will sign with the Pittsburgh Pirates and player Major League Baseball. The decision to sign was first reported by PhillyVoice. White told the outlet the decision was a difficult one to come to terms with, but made sure to inform Penn State head coach James Franklin that he was planning to play baseball.

The PSU signee was drafted No. 64 overall in competitive balance round B by the Pirates in a draft position that comes with a slotted bonus amount of $1.05 million - but he told PhillyVoice the amount he would make would be over that slot amount, a common practice in baseball to convince high school seniors to forgo their college careers and begin to play professionally. Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that amount is $1.5 million. White was slated to play baseball and football with the Nittany Lions and was highly touted on the gridiron due to his size and athleticism on the outside. Penn State and Pittsburgh both confirmed White's decision Monday evening. - Centre Times


(DS#999 WR) Fr/2025 WR Lonnie White Jr.Penn State
News Source: Centre Times
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  07/28/21 - Sean CliffordrSr/2022, Penn State, 6-1, 217 (DS#28 QB) + More +

  After Pennsylvania passed legislation and the NCAA instituted an interim policy allowing college athletes to profit off their names, Images and likenesses this past month, Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford quickly figured out his priorities. Firstly, he didn't want any potential opportunities to interfere with football. And second, after a year without doing so, he wanted to make sure he could once again interact with "the best fans in the country."

The redshirt senior was able to satisfy both of those requirements with his first public appearance deal since the new legislation, appearing at Black n Bleu Restaurant in Mechanicsburg on Saturday afternoon to sign autographs and take photos with Central Pennsylvania Nittany Lions fans in a paid appearance. "I definitely wanted to do an in-person, public appearance, and I think it's really cool that we can do that now with the new bill," Clifford said. "This is somewhere where a lot of Penn State fans come to cheer on the Nittany Lions. The owner (Donny Brown) is such a great guy, and the staff is so supportive of Penn State football. I'm happy to be here." - Tribune Review


(DS#28 QB) rSr/2022 QB Sean CliffordPenn State
News Source: Tribune Review
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  07/27/21 - Jahan DotsonSr/2022, Penn State, 5-11, 182 (DS#3 WR) + More +

  Now heading into his senior year, Dotson wants to be known for more than just one catch. He wants to take the next step and prove he's not just one of the best wide receivers in the Big Ten, he's one of the best in the country. Given the attributes he showed off in 2020 - the quickness in his routes to create separation that is so smooth it often looks like he's gliding, the hands that make it look like baseball players aren't the only ones who have found a use for Spider Tack, and the speed that will leave defenders wondering how he'd gotten past them - it's hard to imagine there's much room to get better.

But Dotson still sees plenty of room for growth. "Being a better version of myself and being a better football player than I was last year," he said about his expectations for 2021. "It's building on every aspect of my game, building my skill set, learning the ins and outs of defenses, coverage recognition, different things like that." There will be no surprising opponents like Dotson did at first last season. Teams know who he is and how good he is. Maryland defensive back Nick Cross explained what makes the senior a special talent. "He's a good receiver," Cross said. "He has a great catch radius, strong hands. He's able to make all the catches and run all the routes in the route tree. He's a problem once he gets loose." - Centre Times


(DS#3 WR) Sr/2022 WR Jahan DotsonPenn State
News Source: Centre Times
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  07/25/21 - A.J. LyttonSr/2022, Penn State, 5-11, 179 (DS#999 CB) + More +

  Penn State announced the addition of Florida State transfer AJ Lytton in a social media post Wednesday evening. Lytton is the latest addition to the Nittany Lions through the transfer portal for the 2021 season, and he ranks among the most intriguing newcomers for coach James Franklin and company. Lytton's transfer to Penn State was originally reported about a month ago. Lytton spent the 2018 and '19 seasons at Florida State before leaving the program ahead of the 2020 season. He appeared in 22 games and made one start in his two seasons, and he recorded 28 tackles, two tackles for loss, one interception, one forced fumble and two pass breakups for the Seminoles. Florida State listed Lytton as a defensive back on the roster, and he was listed at 5-foot-11, 179 pounds. Lytton was ranked as a four-star recruit out of Wise (Md.) - the same high school that produced former Nittany Lions standout and current Steelers linebacker Marcus Allen - in the Class of 2018. - Tribune Review

(DS#999 CB) Sr/2022 CB A.J. LyttonPenn State
News Source: Tribune Review
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  07/24/21 - Noah CainJr/2023, Penn State, 5-10, 226 (DS#999 RB) + More +

  Running back is regarded as one of the deepest positions on the Penn State roster entering the 2021 season, and that depth is reflected by the watch list for the award that is given annually to the nation's top running back. Three Nittany Lions running backs - junior Noah Cain, sophomore Keyvone Lee and senior John Lovett - were listed among the 2021 Doak Walker Award candidates, the PwC SMU Athletic Forum announced Wednesday morning. Penn State enters the 2021 season with a unique backfield situation. All five running backs - junior Devyn Ford and sophomore Caziah Holmes round out the group - have game experience, and given how the Nittany Lions have dealt with injuries at the position, any of the five could end the season as the team's leading rusher. - Tribune Review

(DS#999 RB) Jr/2023 RB Noah CainPenn State
News Source: Tribune Review
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  07/23/21 - Joey Porter Jr.rSo/2024, Penn State, 6-2, 193 (DS#7 CB) + More +

  While Castro-Fields brings leadership and experience, it's Porter who has some of the most upside on the roster. He's played in 12 games of a possible 22 since he enrolled prior to the 2019 season, starting in eight of them, all of which came in the 2020 season. He has the pedigree to be an NFL-caliber talent with his dad - Joey Sr. - playing linebacker in the NFL for 13 seasons. The younger Porter has the build to eventually grow into a safety, but his athletic prowess and ability on the outside should keep him at corner for the foreseeable future.

He's a big, athletic corner at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds and he uses every bit of his size to his advantage. He muscles up against big wide receivers, knocking them off their route and beating them in 1-on-1 jump ball situations. He uses his hands well at the line of scrimmage and doesn't get beat often when he's in press coverage. Once receivers are into their routes, Porter sticks to them and doesn't allow for much separation. Had Castro-Fields left for the 2021 NFL Draft, it's safe to say Penn State would've been fine at corner. With Porter as the No. 2 to the senior, the unit is in even better shape at the top. - Centre Times


(DS#7 CB) rSo/2024 CB Joey Porter Jr.Penn State
News Source: Centre Times
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  07/21/21 - Jahan DotsonSr/2022, Penn State, 5-11, 182 (DS#3 WR) + More +

  If Penn State wants to rebound from a down 2020 season this fall, the Nittany Lions are going to need key contributions from some of the roster's top talent. And the Maxwell Football Club thinks that could happen, and a couple of those players could be in the mix for some prestigious college football awards. Wide receiver Jahan Dotson made the 2021 Maxwell Award Watch List, while safety Jaquan Brisker made the 2021 Bednarik Award Watch List, the Maxwell Football Club announced Monday.

Dotson is one of 80 players to be named to the Maxwell Award Watch List. Dotson enters the 2021 season as one of the top wide receivers in the Big Ten after he caught 52 passes for 884 yards and eight touchdowns in nine games during the 2020 season. The 5-foot-11, 184-pound Dotson elected to return to Penn State for his senior season instead of entering the 2021 NFL Draft. In his career, Dotson has 92 catches for 1,575 yards and 13 touchdowns, and during the 2020 season, he also averaged 24.6 yards on eight punt returns and returned one punt for a touchdown. Dotson was a third-team All-Big Ten selection in 2020. - Tribune Review


(DS#3 WR) Sr/2022 WR Jahan DotsonPenn State
News Source: Tribune Review
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  07/18/21 - Jaquan BriskerrSr/2022, Penn State, 6-1, 210 (DS#4 SS) + More +

  Penn State may have uncertainty at one starting safety spot, but the other is seemingly etched in stone. Jaquan Brisker is one of the best safeties in the conference and arguably one of the most complete safeties in the country. However, the Nittany Lions will still have to find another player to step in alongside him and would usually need another to potentially play the star position, as well. But this season, the star position should be filled by a cornerback, allowing the Nittany Lions to generally focus on only playing two safeties.

Brisker excels against the run and against the pass and doesn't show any glaring weaknesses. The senior operates well in zone coverage and is more than capable in man, as well. He tracks receivers well in zone and does a good job of staying over the top and breaking up passes when he's asked to play deep. He prevents receivers from getting by him, while using his ball skills to track passes and make it difficult for opponents to earn completions. If he does allow a reception, or has an offensive player coming toward him in the open field, Brisker wraps up well and very rarely misses tackles. He takes good angles in pursuit whenever he's tracking ball carriers - whether they're operating after the catch or on a run play - and brings down the opponent whenever he has an opportunity to do so. You won't find many flaws in Brisker's game, and that bodes well for his future beyond Penn State. - Centre Times


(DS#4 SS) rSr/2022 SS Jaquan BriskerPenn State
News Source: Centre Times
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  07/14/21 - Brandon SmithJr/2023, Penn State, 6-2, 244 (DS#5 OLB) + More +

  Smith is where the conversation at linebacker starts for Penn State because he has the best combination of talent and experience. The junior linebacker has appeared in 22 games through two seasons, including starting all nine games last season. He tallied 37 total tackles, two sacks and an interception in those nine games and displayed the athleticism and instincts that made him a five-star recruit out of high school. He's most adept attacking the ball against both the pass and the run. Smith can rush the passer, using his speed and explosion to burst through the offensive line from the second level, while also having the ability to take on blocker and separate to get by.

He uses those same attributes to fill gaps and make tackles in the running game, although he does have a propensity for trying to make the big play. Sometimes it works, sometimes it results in missed tackles and assignments. His instincts can lead to big plays, but occasionally he over-pursues while hunting a big hit and can miss easy tackles. Not to mention, he sometimes fills the wrong gap in the running game at times, which allows opponents to hit the hole and make big plays of their own. Smith is a talented athlete who could be the next all-time great at LBU, but he'll need to continue to refine parts of his game. - Centre Times


(DS#5 OLB) Jr/2023 OLB Brandon SmithPenn State
News Source: Centre Times
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  07/13/21 - Lonnie White Jr.Fr/2025, Penn State, 6-2, 210 (DS#999 WR) + More +

  Penn State football signee Lonnie White Jr. knows where he would begin his career if he chooses baseball - and it would be in the state of Pennsylvania. The four-star wide receiver in the 2021 class was chosen No. 64 overall on Monday in the competitive balance round B by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2021 MLB Draft. White must now decide whether to play baseball and football for the Nittany Lions or begin his professional baseball career.

The talented athlete going No. 64 overall comes with a $1.05 million bonus money slot, meaning that's how much the league allocates to the team's draft budget for that pick. However, the Pirates may go over that slot money using money it saves on other draft picks it makes in the first 10 rounds. White is projected to play wide receiver if he makes it to Penn State, and he has the attributes that would allow him to potentially make an impact as a freshman. He's an excellent athlete who has great size for the position at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds. He has good speed and ball skills, along with the ability to make plays with the ball in his hands. He's good enough to be a multiyear starter at wide receiver, if he chooses the college route. - Centre Times


(DS#999 WR) Fr/2025 WR Lonnie White Jr.Penn State
News Source: Centre Times
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  07/11/21 - Hakeem BeamonrSo/2024, Penn State, 6-3, 298 (DS#19 DT) + More +

  Penn State had two stalwarts at defensive tackle with PJ Mustipher and Antonio Shelton both starting all nine games last season. Mustipher returns, but Shelton entered the transfer portal in the offseason and will play his final year of eligibility at Florida. Now the team will have to find a new starter on the interior who can pair well with Mustipher - and potentially help him reach greater heights. No player is in a better position to fill the void left by Shelton than redshirt sophomore Hakeem Beamon. Beamon appeared in all eight games last season and flashed upside as a pass rusher from the interior and even some ability on the outside as a defensive end if necessary.

The redshirt sophomore has good height at 6-foot-3 but is slightly undersized at 273 pounds. That size isn't as much of a disadvantage in the passing game, where he uses his athleticism to get to the quarterback and collapse the pocket. He can get by bigger guards and centers with his quickness and rush moves. The defensive tackle gets inside the grip of linemen and doesn't allow them to get their hands on him - where he's at a disadvantage because he has less strength than bulkier defensive tackles. Instead, he uses his quickness and explosive first step to create pressure up the middle, dismantling the pocket from the inside. - Centre Times


(DS#19 DT) rSo/2024 DT Hakeem BeamonPenn State
News Source: Centre Times
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  A two-time Penn State football captain was charged Friday for shooting a bullet that ended up in a Patton Township condo. Redshirt senior safety Jonathan Sutherland, 22, was charged with one misdemeanor count of criminal mischief and one summary count of disorderly conduct. The university's athletics department is aware of the charges, a spokesperson wrote in a statement Friday. "These alleged actions do not reflect the values and standards of our program and will be addressed," the department said. "We will not comment any further as this is an ongoing legal matter."

Sutherland discharged a 9 mm handgun at a party in May, Patton Township police wrote in an affidavit of probable cause. He aimed the firearm toward a narrow line of trees in the condo's courtyard and pulled the trigger. Sutherland said he "did not know what was beyond the trees," police wrote. The round traveled above an occupied vehicle and into an apartment. The bullet went through two walls and caused nearly $2,000 worth of damage, police wrote. Sutherland had "little to no experience handling a firearm," police wrote. He did not own the pistol. - Centre Times


(DS#75 SS) rSr/2022 SS Jonathan SutherlandPenn State
News Source: Centre Times
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  06/30/21 - Rasheed WalkerrJr/2023, Penn State, 6-5, 313 (DS#4 OT) + More +

  The Nittany Lions could have two bookends opposite each other on the offensive line if things break right in 2021. Rasheed Walker and Caedan Wallace have both displayed the type of upside at tackle to make one think that's possible this season and both should see vast majority of starts at left and right tackle, respectively. Walker is the more veteran of the pair but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be more consistent. The redshirt junior has made 22 career starts at left tackle - all 13 in 2019 and all nine in 2020 - with one great season and one subpar season. His 2019 campaign showed everything you would want to see in a starting tackle. He used his length and strength to keep pass rushers at bay, while also using his feet to get back inside when they tried to counter his initial contact. Walker translated his power into the running game as well, moving defenders back and driving through them with good bend at his knees. - Centre Times

(DS#4 OT) rJr/2023 OT Rasheed WalkerPenn State
News Source: Centre Times
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  06/27/21 - Theo JohnsonSo/2024, Penn State, 6-5, 251 (DS#999 TE) + More +

  The next starter at tight end will have big shoes to fill with the departure of Pat Freiermuth - who broke the school receiving touchdown record for a tight end with 16 in his career. Fortunately for Penn State, there are multiple options to replace the now-Pittsburgh Steeler. The first crack at the job could go to Brenton Strange, who brings the best combination of experience and upside to the table. Strange is a very good athlete, but isn't the strongest blocker in the world and lacks elite size at the position. Because of that - while Strange should get the first chance - we'll project sophomore Theo Johnson as the starter.

Johnson is entering his second season on campus after joining the team as a highly touted recruit out of high school. He was a top-75 player in the 2020 class and the No. 3 tight end in the group. That standing was based largely on his ability as a pass catcher, his elite size and his very good athleticism. While he rarely blocked in high school, Johnson has the requisite ability to become an above average run blocker in college. He's listed at 6-foot-6, 250 pounds and already showed flashes of how he would look in an expanded role last season. Johnson hauled in four passes for 56 yards in seven games played last year, including two catches for 42 yards in the team's season finale against Illinois. - Centre Times


(DS#999 TE) So/2024 TE Theo JohnsonPenn State
News Source: Centre Times
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  06/23/21 - A.J. LyttonSr/2022, Penn State, 5-11, 179 (DS#999 CB) + More +

  Penn State football is reportedly set to add a transfer to its defensive backfield. Former Florida State cornerback A.J. Lytton will transfer into the program according, to a report from 247Sports. "I like the culture," Lytton told 247Sports. "I like coach (James) Franklin. I am glad he is giving me this second chance so I can tell a story. I like the culture at Penn State." Lytton was a top-50 recruit out of high school when he originally signed with the Seminoles. He then played in 22 games - including one start - racking up 28 tackles, two passes defended, an interception and a forced fumble. The former Florida State player was removed from the team's roster in 2020, per Noles247. No reason was given for his removal at the time. - Centre Times

(DS#999 CB) Sr/2022 CB A.J. LyttonPenn State
News Source: Centre Times
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