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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Penn State
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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#72 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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  05/28/21 - Levi ForrestSo/2024, Penn State, 6-3, 184 (DS#999 P) + More +

  A Penn State punter has reportedly entered the NCAA transfer portal, which could signal some roster movement for the Lions after a relatively quiet spring. Freshman Levi Forrest, who appeared in two games for Penn State in 2020, has entered the NCAA transfer portal and will look to continue his career elsewhere, 247Sports reported Wednesday. Forrest, a preferred walk-on, attempted onside kicks in fourth quarters of losses to Ohio State and Maryland last fall in the only action of his true freshman season. He came to Penn State out of Richlands (Va.) High School, and he was rated as the No. 6 punter in the Class of 2020 by Kohl's Kicking Camps. Forrest kicked a 59-yard field goal during his senior season at Richlands, and he was also a high school soccer player. Forrest was called " a can't miss D1 punting prospect " in a Kohl's Kicking scouting report. - Tribune Review

(DS#999 P) So/2024 P Levi ForrestPenn State
News Source: Tribune Review
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  05/06/21 - Jahan DotsonSr/2022, Penn State, 5-11, 182 (DS#3 WR) + More +

  Fewer players at Penn State improved their draft stock in 2020 more than Dotson. He could boost his stock even higher by taking the next step in 2021. He had a breakout year in the nine-game season, hauling in 52 passes for 884 yards and eight touchdowns, good for 98.2 yards per game in his third season on campus. He showed the traits that can make a successful NFL wide receiver with the production to back up the film.

Dotson is a refined route runner who makes life difficult for opposing defensive backs with his elite route running and ability to get in and out of his breaks with ease. He sheds corners with sudden movements on those breaks and has the hands to make even the best highlight reel catches. His ability to get open and big play ability should translate to the next level and could entice a team to take him in the second or third round. - Centre Times


(DS#3 WR) Sr/2022 WR Jahan DotsonPenn State
News Source: Centre Times
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  05/06/21 - Adisa IsaacJr/2023, Penn State, 6-4, 251 (DS#18 DE) + More +

  Isaac fits a similar profile to the one Odafe Oweh had prior to going No. 31 in the 2021 NFL Draft. While he's not quite the athletic freak Oweh is, he's still an elite athlete for the position. Isaac can beat his opponents with speed and athleticism and uses his long arms to disrupts offensive tackles when they try to get their hands on him. He didn't hit high levels of production in 2020 as a pass rusher but could be in for a breakout season in 2021. Isaac is the player who - while likely not on the radar now - could put himself firmly on the NFL radar with a high-level season. He doesn't have the safe floor of the previous three players, but Isaac could reasonably break out and find himself in the Day 1 discussion in the 2022 NFL Draft. He's a long way away from that right now - and is also an easy candidate to return for the 2022 season - but his upside is tantalizing and should put him on the NFL radar. - Centre Times

(DS#18 DE) Jr/2023 DE Adisa IsaacPenn State
News Source: Centre Times
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  05/04/21 - Lamont WadeSr/2021, Penn State, 5-09, 190 (DS#12 FS) + More +

  All seven Penn State football players to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft have found homes to start their professional careers. Former Nittany Lion defensive back Lamont Wade will sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted free agent, according to the NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. He joins Micah Parsons, Odafe Oweh, Pat Freiermuth, Shaka Toney, Michal Menet and Will Fries as former Penn State football players set to begin their professional careers. Wade appeared in 47 games in his career, starting 22 of them. He played primarily at safety in his time as a Nittany Lion, but also slid inside to the nickel cornerback position. He finished his career with 153 total tackles, 11 pass deflections, four forced fumbles, three sacks and an interception. Wade also notably closed out his college career with a 100-yard kick return for a touchdown against Illinois in 2020. - Centre Times

(DS#12 FS) Sr/2021 FS Lamont WadePenn State
News Source: Centre Times
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  05/03/21 - *Pat FreiermuthJr/2021, Penn State, 6-5, 251 (DS#2 TE) + More +

  Former Penn State tight end Pat Freiermuth will stay in the state of Pennsylvania to begin his professional career, after being selected No. 55 overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers on Friday in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He was the third Penn State player to be drafted after Micah Parsons and Odafe Oweh went in the first round. Freiermuth should be an immediate impact player for the Steelers, as long as he's healthy. The tight end missed the last portion of Penn State's 2020 season due to a shoulder injury that required surgery. He was healthy enough to run drills at Penn State's March pro day but did not do any testing. He is a high-quality all-around tight end who can stay on the field in all situations. Freiermuth is a good run blocker who relies more on his strength and physicality than technique when asked to take on defenders in the run game and when he helps offensive tackles in the passing game. He will have plenty of time to improve his technique, which should help him become one of the best blocking tight ends in the NFL. - Centre Times

(DS#2 TE) Jr/2021 TE *Pat FreiermuthPenn State
News Source: Centre Times
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  05/02/21 - *Micah ParsonsJr/2021, Penn State, 6-3, 246 (DS#1 OLB) + More +

  The first Nittany Lion has come off the board in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Former Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons was taken by the Dallas Cowboys at No. 12 overall. Parsons is the first former Penn State defensive player to go in the first round since Jared Odrick went No. 28 overall to the Miami Dolphins in the 2010 NFL Draft. The former Nittany Lion opted out of the 2020 season due to precautionary reasons surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. "I decided I needed to make a choice, not for myself - but my son and those dearest to me," he told PennLive about his decision to opt out. "While I felt safe with the health and safety standards as we return to Penn State for workouts, the potential risk to the health and well-being of my son far outweighed my urge to play football this season." Even without the 2020 season on his resume, Parsons had plenty of film for teams to watch. He was dominant in his lone year as a full-time starter in college in 2019 and displayed elite athleticism at Penn State's pro day, running a 4.39 in the 40 yard dash. - Centre Times

(DS#1 OLB) Jr/2021 OLB *Micah ParsonsPenn State
News Source: Centre Times
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  04/28/21 - Jahan DotsonSr/2022, Penn State, 5-11, 182 (DS#3 WR) + More +

  Having the team's best offensive player will boost this grade, even if the depth isn't great. Jahan Dotson was one of the best wide receivers in the Big Ten in 2020 and has a chance to be one of the best in the country in 2021. He's a silky smooth route runner who gets in and out of his breaks with ease and catches the ball naturally. His ability in the open field makes him that much more dangerous when Clifford is able to get the ball in his hands. - Centre Times

(DS#3 WR) Sr/2022 WR Jahan DotsonPenn State
News Source: Centre Times
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