World News – US – Countdown to Kick-off: 0 (!) Day Before Penn State Football


Penn State’s football season is finally here The Nittany Lions kick off an unprecedented campaign on the Indiana Highway on Saturday, before returning to Beaver Stadium for a Halloween showdown against the State from Ohio

You can check out the full PSU Big Ten schedule HERE Every day on Lions247, we tracked the days dwindling until a long-awaited kickoff by matching the countdown to the corresponding number of Particularly Notable Penn State Players – Present and Past Today we are at zero, which leads us to a brand new jersey (No 0) and its recipient, double team captain Jonathan Sutherland

PATH TO PENN STATE Jonathan Sutherland, originally from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, became a popular Power Five football recruiting target at Episcopal (Alexandria, Va) High school He was considered a four star prospect and among the 300 best talents in the composite ranking of 247Sports in 2017, which placed it 23rd in collateral

Sutherland took home all-state honors while helping lead Episcopal to back-to-back Interstate Athletic Conference championships in 2015 and 2016 He committed to Penn State during the summer before his senior season after have entered Boston College, Michigan, Syracuse and Wisconsin as other finalists

PENN STATE CAREER SO FARSutherland stayed on the sidelines as a red shirt in 2017 before moving onto the pitch a year later He impressed in special teams coverage and landed a safe start in 2018, totaling 38 tackles and one forced fumble

Last fall, Sutherland was special teams captain and a backup option in the defensive backfield For the second season in a row, he saw action in every game for the Nittany Lions while recording 23 tackles He blocked a pair of punts against Idaho in the 2019 opener

The past week has been a busy one for Sutherland, who earned the Penn State captain’s title for the second year in a row and became the first player in program history to be named the No 0, which was added to the uniform circulation of college football this year

Rather than awarding it arbitrarily or on the basis of seniority, Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin and his team decided to send a message with how it would be awarded No 0 will go each year. to a special team who « is a solid, reliable, disciplined physical leader, who inspires his teammates with his responsibility and his production »

Penn State announced Sutherland, who had once starred in No 26, as his selection last Saturday when preseason camp concluded There was a strong consensus that he was the right man for the wear first

« After the announcement Sutherland got No 0, all these guys were like, ‘I’m disappointed, but I get it – it’s Sutherland, » Franklin said « It’s hard to argue with him You watch the number of reps he played in special teams last year and how he ranked And his approach and his mentality and behavior has been awesome « 

Aside from its sustained responsibilities as a mainstay of special teams, the junior redshirt remains a second-team safety behind senior debutants Jaquan Brisker and Lamont Wade

Jaquan Brisker dated Gateway (Monroeville, Pa), and had a strong relationship with assistant coach and defensive recruiting coordinator Terry Smith – a former Gateway coach and player – throughout his recruiting. surfaced as one of junior college’s top talent at Lackawanna College (Scranton, Pa), where he won All-American honors in an unbeaten Falcons season that featured 64 tackles – 17 for loss – and nine bags

Brisker, who also bagged scholarship offers from Alabama, Mississippi State, Maryland, Pitt and West Virginia, totaled 118 tackles and four interceptions over the course of two JUCO-level campaigns He enlisted at Penn State in May 2018 and ultimately became one of two Lackawanna stars to have signed with the Nittany Lions, alongside offensive lineman Anthony Whigan

Brisker made an immediate impact in his first year at Happy Valley, competing in all 13 contests Senior Garrett Taylor and junior Lamont Wade were the safe starters in 2019, but Brisker secured a spot on both depths and saw new opportunities as this campaign progressed

« Brisker is getting better every week, » Nittany Lions defensive coordinator Brent Pry said last October “Go in and be a little behind the eighth ball, but these guys kissed Brisk and help bring him He did a good job I feel really good with the one-two punch right there With Lamont getting a bunch of reps [at the Star position] in our sub-package right now he’s putting in some more on Brisker, which we are happy with « 

Brisker was fifth among all Penn State defensive backs with 32 total tackles and tied for the team lead with two interceptions He picked those passes in the Big Ten road games at the Iowa and Michigan State Brisker capped her first FBS season with five tackles in the Cotton Bowl

Brisker is among the top contenders for this 2020 roster’s breakthrough Of the seven first-year defensive starters, he is the only senior, although a current break on NCAA eligibility clocks opens the door to another season on campus if he chooses to take it

Paired with Wade as the first-team safety tandem, expectations have risen throughout 2020 every time you’ve updated yourself on Brisker’s progress There’s certainly a feeling he can provide an update. level at the post, and cornerback coach Terry Smith gave that notion more credit this week

“Everyone is going to be introduced to Jaquan Brisker,” he said “He’ll be a household name after the first week He’s had a phenomenal offseason He’s tall, he’s strong, he’s fast, he is athletic, he is a playmaker, he can tackle The ball finds him « 

Son of former Nittany Lions wide receiver Bruce Ellis, Keaton Ellis became the first member of the 2019 Penn State recruiting class at the start of his junior season by committing while in attendance for a win in 2017 against Pittsburgh No hope has had an easier time getting to the games

Ellis attended State College High School, located less than two miles from Beaver Stadium, and got an offer from Penn State after completing the 40-yard scorecard in 439 seconds at a June 2017 Buffalo camp and Syracuse offered to enter their junior season, but that result was essentially a lockdown from the time an offer from the Nittany Lions came in and the Power Five programs got this message.

As a senior at State College, he had 50 receptions for 888 yards and 15 touchdowns, totaled 51 tackles, nine breakouts, four interceptions and three fumbles recovered in defense, and shone as the teams comeback. specialEllis climbed nearly 400 places in the 247 Sport rankings that year, finishing 130th overall and 14th among cornerbacks

Ellis signed up in early January 2019 and impressed in spring training and preseason camp, earning him ‘green light’ status for his first college campaign He entered every game last year, earning a starting nod against Rutgers with stater Tariq Castro-Fields sidelined

As a rookie, Ellis forced three fumbles and had 18 tackles, including a career-best three in the Cotton Bowl Penn State’s 2019 four-man cornerback class quickly made a strong impression, as Marquis Wilson also burned red shirt status, Joey Porter Jr flashed in limited play action, and Daequan Hardy earned Development Team Defensive Player of the Year honors

In a bit of surprise, given the progress of the 2019 season, Porter rose to the starting position alongside Castro-Fields, a senior, coming out of preseason camp this month, replacing the current Houston Texans rookie John Reid in that role Ellis should still see a lot of work at the post, with Wilson and potentially Hardy

« My toughest challenge is figuring out who the opposite starter is from Tariq, » Smith said before making his decision. « And it’s a tough challenge But all these guys are going to play a lot of football »

Standing 5ft 11in, 186lb, Ellis is also in the mix at ‘Star’ when Penn State enters his nickel package, although it remains uncertain who will be the first man to take on the role. coverage of its special teams, and we’re likely to see a lot of local produce throughout its second season

« Keaton is even smarter than he was last year He’s physically stronger He’s probably a half step faster He’s harder, » Smith said. « And Keaton is a magnet for ball It seems to be in football « 

Donovan Johnson has won over a dozen FBS offers while shining for Detroit pre-season football powerhouse Cass Tech, a schedule that includes two current Penn State engagements for the 2021 class (twin brothers Kalen and Kobe King) The program has won 50 games in his career, winning a state championship in 2016 as a senior

At US Army Selection All-American Bowl, Johnson enlisted with the Nittany Lions in December 2016 after using seasonally campus tours to Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech, and signed two months later Considered a four-star talent in the 2017 247Sports composite class, he carried a ranking of No 38 among cornerbacks and not 332 overall

Johnson arrived in Happy Valley in the summer of 2017 He was one of four corner rookies in this Nittany class, along with DJ Brown, Tariq Castro-Fields and Lamont Wade

While Castro-Fields and Wade burned red shirt status in 2017, Johnson was limited to the training ground and retained a year of college eligibility The next offseason, Wade went to security

Johnson moved on to a gameday role as a rookie in the red shirt and turned heads in spring practice that year.During the 2018 campaign, Johnson totaled 12 tackles with three break-ups from passes

His progress at Penn State had a tough time in 2019 as he was suspended for the opener and missed most of last fall with a medical setback Johnson made six tackles in two games before sustaining an upper-body injury in a Week 3 win over Pittsburgh

Sadly, Johnson hasn’t been able to stay healthy of late, making him unavailable to compete for snaps with the Nittany Lions An undisclosed injury this summer unrelated to the one he faced in 2019, will keep him out for the 2020 season

A lot has changed for his 2017 cornerback class Castro-Fields is a sophomore starter at the job, while Wade is a sophomore starter at Safety Brown transferred to Louisiana Tech during the 2020 offseason , and Johnson struggled to stay on the pitch

In his absence, Castro-Fields is joined by four sophomore cornerbacks atop the positional depth card, with red-shirted rookie Joey Porter Jr earning the other starting role this preseason On On a positive note for Johnson, the NCAA has suspended athlete eligibility clocks in 2020, so he essentially wins another red shirt year.So if Johnson can get back into action next year, he will be fifth year junior

Journey Brown delivered a legendary athletic career in high school in Meadville, Pa. High School Football aside, his abilities on the track deserve considerable attention

He has won back-to-back state titles at the 100-meter outdoor championships, including a performance in 2017 (1,043 seconds) that broke the all-time state record held by US Olympian Leroy Burrell Brown produced Pennsylvania’s fastest 60-yard scorecard (687 seconds) in the 2016-17 indoor track season and also qualified for the state finals in the long jump

His production on the football field was also amazing He set a state record for points in one game (68 points, including 10 touchdowns) and running (722 yards) in a Meadville victory in 2015 , then took home all-state honors while breaking school records for rushing yards (7,027) and touchdowns (106) Brown led all Pennsylvania players with 51 total scores as a senior. p>

Despite these tremendous accomplishments, Brown was not heavily pursued by Power Five’s top recruiting services Rated by 247Sports as a three-star talent and the No 53 running back in the 2017 rookie rankings he capitalized on a late Penn State scholarship offer and signed up to the program three weeks before National Signing Day

Red brown shirt in 2017 as a true rookie He made his college debut the following year in a Week 3 win over Kent State and, following a season-ending injury to senior Mark Allen, switched to the No 3 running back role behind starter Miles Sanders and Class of 2018 signer Ricky Slade

Brown appeared in nine games in 2018, recording eight carries for 44 yards and one touchdown and adding a nine-yard reception His score was a six-yard rush in the Big Ten’s first game at Illinois

An anticipated breakout moment in 2019, when an injury to freshman Noah Cain led him to a bigger role after working in a rotating environment in the last four games of the regular season, Brown rushed for 391 yards and seven touchdowns on 62 carries He then set a playoff running record with 202 yards, to go with two scores, in a 53-39 Cotton Bowl win over Memphis

Brown finished with 890 rushing yards in just 129 carries (69 yards averaged) and 13 total touchdowns His performance made it hard to remember that Cain and Slade (now at Old Dominion) both started running last fall

“Now he’s playing as a football player,” Penn State running back coach Ja’Juan Seider said of Brown this spring. “When I got here I said that ‘he was a track kid who played football, and I wanted to say that But it wasn’t negative He was a fast kid, he had measurable values ​​and he was talented; he just didn’t know how to do it. draw Over time, he joined « 

Brown, a junior in a red shirt, was set to resume his duties as Penn State’s top running back and potentially assert his rights as the first prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft However, adversity struck in a major way during the pre-season preparation

The Nittany Lions backroom, considered one of the best positional groups in college football, will move forward without their most productive component available Monday night, Penn State officials confirmed he was sidelined for an indefinite period

« First of all, we want to focus all of our energy, love and support on Journey through this, » PSU head coach James Franklin said at his Tuesday press conference. “I’m not going to get into a lot of things, but I didn’t want to just move on to the other guys not to mention the pride and how much we love, support and appreciate Journey and how much he’s grown in our program. and thinks he has a very, very bright future « 

For now, Cain steps into the starting position, while his sophomore Devyn Ford takes on the main backup duties

Cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields and wide receiver Jahan Dotson were each considered four-star rookies in the 247Sports Composite Rankings Castro-Fields landed 34th nationally among cornerbacks in the class of 2017, while Dotson was the No. 36 receiver in the 2018 cycle, according to the 247Sports composite

An all-state defensive back who also shone as a track competitor at Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md) High School, Castro-Fields brought his recruiting to the wire with Alabama and Maryland also in the mix He announced his intention to attend Penn State on signing day, providing a late boost for the 2017 Nittany Lions class

Dotson split his prep career between The Peddie School (Hightstown, NJ) and Nazareth (Pa) High School, where he finished as the All-State selection of the first team and the all-time leader of school in career receptions (187), receiving yards (2755) and receiving touchdowns (40) He was also Pennsylvania state champion in the 4×100 relay and long jump

Dotson initially signed up to UCLA at the start of his senior season, but Penn State resurfaced as college football’s early signing period approachedHe moved on to the Nittany Lions, joining fellow Top Receivers Daniel George and Justin Shorter in the 2018 class.

Castro-Fields was one of only three true freshmen, along with his other defensive back Lamont Wade and defensive lineman Yetur Gross-Matos, who saw the game in 2017 after recording 10 tackles and four breakouts in 12 games this fall, he stepped into a more expansive role as a sophomore, starting three contests and appearing in all 13 games on the 2018 schedule

Castro-Fields stepped in full-time last fall, taking on first-team duties in all but one matchup (he missed the regular season final against Rutgers with injury). totaled 52 tackles and 10 pass breakouts These were career highs, but inconsistencies were hurting him and the Penn State defense at a critical juncture in conference action, with an undisclosed medical setback contributing to those problems

« His season last year was almost like two different seasons, » said Nittany Lions cornerback coach Terry Smith “The first half of the season he came out of the gate looking like a first round pick, he played really well And then he suffered an injury And from that injury he was a different player He wasn’t not so confident, he was not so sure of himself « 

As a junior, members of the media selected Castro-Fields for the All-Big Ten’s third team Over three college campaigns, he has 94 tackles – 10 for loss – with 21 break-ups and three interceptions in 37 contests

Penn State coaches initially entered the 2018 season leaning towards a red shirt for Dotson, though he earned praise early throughout August’s camp He made his Nittany Lions debut in Week 3 vs. Kent State but didn’t see the action of the game again until October 20 in Indiana

Three weeks later, Dotson entered the starting lineup and stayed there for the last four games of his true freshman campaign, turning nine of 13 receptions into top pickups. He finished with 13 receptions for 203 yards

Dotson started all 13 games in 2019, placing third on the team in receptions (27), yards received (488) and touchdowns (five) His most productive performance was a 109-yard effort and two points against Buffalo In two years on campus, Dotson recorded 40 catches for 691 yards with the next five touchdowns last season

Penn State has lost multi-year starters to cornerback (John Reid) and wide receiver (KJ Hamler) this offseason, so the spotlight has shifted to each of those players, both performance and leadership perspective.

Castro-Fields should be surrounded by sophomores at the cornerback He could also be called upon to take on the “Star” responsibilities in the nickel wrappers

“He brings the experience we need into the room to teach guys,” said Smith “He’s the voice of reason He’s the one that’s been through just about every situation these guys go to coping So his leadership is invaluable to us He’s obviously a great kid, he works his butt, he had a great offseason The first week and a half of the camp we were at he looks exceptional « 

Working under his third Nittany Lions receivers coach in three seasons, Dotson is the only player in this room to have more than 12 career college catches. Further progress will be essential for a position likely to have several real freshmen as rotating members

« I really believe he’s progressing to have a great season, » said Taylor Stubblefield, Penn State freshman assistant « I’m excited for him, I’m excited for the whole group. We’re up for the challenge of bringing it in, being consistent and being explosive »

Sullivan-Brown collected over 20 FBS scholarship offers during the 2017 Class recruiting cycle He verbally committed to attending Penn State in July 2016, ahead of his senior campaign, and signed up for university almost a year later

Considered a three-star prospect in the 247Sports composite rankings, he set St Vincent Pallotti (Laurel, Md) high school records for career catches (149) and receiving yards (2846) The Nittany Lions have started recruiting him as a junior, eventually edging out contenders such as Duke, Maryland, Syracuse and West Virginia

After being redshirted as a true freshman in 2017, Sullivan-Brown landed his first college reception, for seven yards, in week six of the 2018 season against Michigan State He caught a pair of passes for 33 yards the following week in Indiana, then recorded just one more reception (a nine-yard catch vs. Wisconsin) in the last six games

Sullivan-Brown has witnessed the action in all 13 contests that fall as a red-shirt rookie, recording his only college debut this fall at Rutgers After the 2018 season, he entered the transfer portal of NCAA to explore other possibilities, but ultimately chose to stay at Penn State

Sullivan-Brown was hampered by injury issues in 2019 and limited to four games His last appearance of the season, a late September game at home in Maryland, featured five career best receptions for 35 yards

Now a junior in a red shirt, Sullivan-Brown meets his fourth wide receiver coach in four years on campus and is the only remaining member of a 2017 wide receiver class that also included KJ Hamler (now a Denver Broncos rookie ) and Mac Hippenhammer (transferred to Miami from Ohio this offseason)

Beyond starter Jahan Dotson’s return, first-team status has been on the line throughout the preseason as new assistant coach Taylor Stubblefield assesses his squad With second-year student Daniel George in red shirt, Sullivan-Brown is considered a veteran whose progress is key to room-wide improvement, while true freshmen KeAndre Lambert-Smith and Parker Washington have received rave reviews before. their beginnings at university

At this point, the jury is out on whether or not Sullivan-Brown’s breakout moment will come for an offense that requires high output from his receivers It wouldn’t be surprising to see him listed as a starter on the next week one depth draw.

As the summer of 2017 arrived, Penn State staff had to improvise after losing control over the signing of five-star quarterback rookie Justin Fields In the past months, Will Levis has established himself as a major player in the Class of 2018 recruiting scene, securing scholarship offers from Florida State, Iowa, Carolina North, Ole Miss and Syracuse in June only

With Nittany’s Lions still on the hunt for Fields’ replacement, Levis traveled to Happy Valley in mid-July for the Lasch Bash weekend This Friday night, with head coach James Franklin and offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead keeping a close watch on him, he worked through drills and sent several passes towards Penn State engagements such as tight ends Pat Freiermuth and Zack Kuntz

The Nittany Lions extended an offer the next day and Levis quickly signed on The Xavier (Middletown, Conn) high school star set one-season program records for passing yards (2793) and touchdown throws (27) as a senior, and added six scores to the run

247Sports rated Levis as a three-star protection and cycle No 2 talents outside of Connecticut He enrolled in college in May 2018

Levis in a red shirt like a true rookie, handling Reconnaissance Team QB duties while Trace McSorley wrapped up his career at Penn State The following offseason brought unpredictable changes, as the heir McSorley’s alleged Tommy Stevens struggled to compete at full capacity due to injury issues and was ultimately transferred when he was not named a starter following spring training

This left red-shirted sophomore Sean Clifford as the only quarterback with college playing experience and a clear favorite to claim the job although Penn State only confirmed that result August, Clifford took over as QB1, while Levis served as the main replacement

Levis saw the action late in Penn State’s lopsided wins, then stepped into the starting role for the final six quarters of regular-season competition with Clifford sidelined Cumulatively, he ran for nearly as many yards (213) as he threw for (223), completing 596 percent of 47 shots with two touchdowns and two interceptions to go with three rushing scores

The Nittany Lions quarterbacks are under new management this year with former Minnesota Golden Gophers caller Kirk Ciarrocca coaching this room and acting as offensive coordinator Tanner Morgan made a huge leap forward under his tutelage last fall, and alumni include eventual Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco

Now a red shirt sophomore Levis is firmly entrenched as the No 2 option behind Clifford Beyond Him on the Depth Map, Red Shirt freshman Ta’Quan Roberson has attempted a pass in the Penn State uniform and real freshman Micah Bowens signed up this summer

At the start of preseason camp, Ciarrocca confirmed that he was considering the 6-foot-3, 222-pound Levis as a runner in some forfeits Using a similar formula in Minnesota, Seth Green scored 13 touchdowns in the over the past two seasons

“You look at his body and the way he plays the game, and there’s a natural correlation (with Green),” Ciarrocca said “I think there’s a possibility he could be really good and that it may present real problems « 

Pause on NCAA Eligibility Clocks Creates New Dynamics in QB Nittany Lions Hall Although it may be unlikely, Clifford could now remain on the roster until 2022, when Lévis turns 23


Marquis Wilson has become a household name on the New England recruiting landscape at Avon (Conn) Former Farms School He won All State Honors as a junior in 2017 after totaling 37 receptions for 765 yards and six touchdowns to go with 51 tackles and four interceptions

Although he didn’t play as a senior on a transfer to Windsor (Conn) High School, Wilson earned a four-star rating from 247Sports in the 2019 recruiting class He landed at No 36 among the cornerbacks and was the no 4 prospect in Connecticut (safety Tyler Rudolph, No 2 on this list, also signed with the Nittany Lions)

Wilson signed up to Penn State about a month after using an official visit for the 2018 Bleu-Blanc spring game He was one of four cornerbacks in the Nittany Lions class and signed up in early January 2019, with his four-star positional counterpart Keaton Ellis

Penn State coaches had no initial plans to burn Wilson’s red shirt at the start of the 2019 season, but he eventually joined Ellis as a freshman cornerback who broke that threshold of four games After being absent the first three games, Wilson has made the last 10 contests and has been called to action at key moments

“He’s a guy we’ve always felt to be talented,” said James Franklin last October after confirming Wilson would burn his red shirt. “It just built that confidence with [cornerback coach Terry Smith ] and really with our defensive team He is perhaps the most confident DB we have He is perhaps the guy who is most comfortable with the ball in the air « 

Given his instant totals, Wilson was a spinning machine, forcing three fumbles (he picked up one) and intercepting a pair of passes for a total of 18 tackles He helped slam the door on Memphis at the end of their Cotton Bowl game, winning a red zone pass thrown by Tigers quarterback Brady White with less than five minutes to go in a 53-39 win.

Wilson is competing to claim the vacant starting cornerback position left by current Houston Texans rookie John Reid – facing senior Tariq Castro-Fields He faces daily competition from his comrades from class Ellis and Joey Porter Jr, another four-star signatory of 2019 who did a red shirt last fall Daequan Hardy is a fourth-year sophomore cornerback who impressed on the training ground which resulted in to a whole collection for coaches

« I have a feeling the four are going to become major contributors for us whether they are newbies or not, » said Smith « They are going to play a lot of football »

Regardless of first-team status, Wilson will step into this Big Ten action with rising expectations as a potential defensive game-changer. Nittany Lions staff and teammates have not shied away from making it happen. praise for his attitude and his abilities this offseason

“He’s got this rare (combination) of instincts, ball skills – confident, no fear,” said Smith “It’s a trait you can’t really teach And when the ball is in it ‘tune, with each click, he thinks it’s his And it’s a great trait to have « 

Joey Porter Jr and Ta’Quan Roberson were each four-star composite prospects in the 2019 recruiting class Porter, a North Allegheny (Wexford, Pa) high school product, promised at Penn State during his senior season, while as Roberson announced college plans midway through his junior campaign at DePaul Catholic (Wayne, NJ) High School

Trailing only eventual teammate Keaton Ellis among Pennsylvania’s defensive backs in the 2019 standings, Porter is the son of former NFL All-Pro linebacker Joey Porter, who won a Super Bowl with the Steelers. from Pittsburgh and then coached for that franchise

Arizona State, LSU and Miami were among the other Power Five programs that chased WPIAL playmaker Porter got 10 interceptions as a high school upperclass member and took home all of them first team honors. States in 2018

Roberson was New Jersey’s top quarterback rookie and helped DePaul to a 2017 State Championship weeks after his engagement with the Nittany Lions He totaled 4,898 passing yards, 887 rushing yards, 66 touchdowns and 11 interceptions as a top class man while facing one of New Jersey’s toughest regular season schedules.

Penn State extended a scholarship offer in the summer of 2017 after working Roberson through drills at a team-led camp His offer list was filled with options widely scattered across the ACC and Big Ten Roberson was PSU’s first offensive engagement of this cycle

Porter arrived on campus last June and was one of four freshman cornerbacks on the 2019 roster, along with Ellis, Daequan Hardy and Marquis Wilson He won a field shot in week one, then saw snaps in three Big Ten clashes (in Maryland; vs. Purdue; vs. Rutgers)

Porter totaled three tackles and one pass breakage, and he retained his red shirt status Hardy also donned a red shirt, while Ellis and Wilson played a lot and burned the eligibility

Roberson was one of two four-star quarterback prospects to sign with Penn State in the 2019 cycle Along with Oregon athlete Michael Johnson Jr, he signed up early and took a a step ahead of last year by participating in spring practices

Ahead of the 2019 preseason camp, a departure from quarterback (Tommy Stevens) elevated Sean Clifford to starter and Will Levis to main replacement As a result, Roberson and Johnson found themselves competing for the No 3 jobs while assuming the tasks of the reconnaissance team

Roberson became a mainstay on road rosters as the Big Ten program progressed and shared recognition as the Development Team’s Offensive Player of the Year, and gained his only college experience against Rutgers with Clifford out and Levis starting, throwing an incomplete pass and losing a yard on a run

There’s a lot of buzz surrounding second-year Penn State cornerbacks, and Porter is part of that excitement. A starting position is up for grabs against senior Tariq Castro-Fields and daily competition continues to push this forward. impressive group

« I have a feeling the four are going to become major contributors for us whether they start or not, » said PSU cornerback coach Terry Smith « They are going to play a lot of football »

Standing 6ft 2in, 193 and equipped with remarkable wingspan, Porter is considered a top talent and an upward defender of the Nittany Lions

Roberson is cut off as Penn State third-string quarterback after Johnson’s off-season outing. Together with new offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca, this period of preseason practices has been pivotal in his development continued

“I saw a huge improvement with him,” Ciarrocca said “His mind starts to work a lot more, where I think for him he has always been able to go and play and his talent took over I think he understands the value of being able to think and process information before the shot « 

Penn State has added former Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) high school star Micah Bowens to their quarterback room this summer, and 2021 quarterback pledge Christian Veilleux intends to sign up this winter , so Roberson will be sure to compete in front or behind him on the depth graph

Due to the current break in NCAA eligibility, Porter and Roberson will technically be third-year students in 2021

Lance Dixon and TJ Jones each joined the program as members of a 2019 Nittany Lions recruiting class, rated by 247Sports as the third best crop of college football talent Dixon became a household name on the PSU target board early in the round, while Jones later appeared and ultimately provided a late boost.

Let’s start with Dixon, who was considered the nation’s top rookie outside linebacker in the 247Sports rankings The West Bloomfield (Mich) high school product got five-star recognition, along with a rave review from Barton Simmons, principal. 247Sports screening

“We’re going against the grain here,” Simmons said “Others in the industry have it all the way down as a three-star prospect I love this kid Not Concerned Turn on the C movie ‘is a 4 A 55 (40 meters) guy, he’s a kid who plays on the offensive, he’s a kid who brings violence to the point of attack He disrupts football; always grabbing and picking up balls He can do so much and we saw him up close at the All-American Bowl He was very physical; not just a space linebacker He can also obstruct running play and take on blockers Penn State has a good one there.  »

USA Today recognized Dixon as Michigan’s 2018 Defensive Player of the Year after a senior season in which he recorded 95 tackles, including 11 for loss, 11 quarterback rush and five sacks. He added nine attacking touchdowns, featured by a winning score in the District Championship game

Dixon signed up to Penn State in July 2018, rejecting fellow finalists Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin He graduated from high school early and enrolled in January 2019

Jones was a three-year incumbent at Columbia (Lake City, Fla.) High School, where he helped lead the Tigers to a district title in 2018.He posted his best career production as a senior, scoring 42 catches for 833 yards and eight touchdownsAs a top class, Jones recorded 73 receptions for 1,571 yards (215 by catch) and 14 scores

Considered a three-star talent and No.72 wide receiver in the 2019 247Sports Composite Rankings, Jones used his last official visit to Penn State in January and has already used official visits to Indiana and Texas A&M C ‘ were the two main challengers for the Nittany Lions as a decision neared He picked PSU at a signing day ceremony in February and signed up four months later

Dixon was originally named by the coaching staff as a freshman ‘go-ahead’ last year after preseason camp, meaning they intended to burn his shirt red He saw action in all three non-conference games and was on the travel list for the Penn State Big Ten opener in Maryland, but did not participate that night despite explosive circumstances, foreshadowing a change of plans

« Lance Dixon is a guy that we’ve kind of moved to the ‘yellow’ category and that we’re going to try to hold his games later in the year, or in the event of an injury, » said James Franklin through the following “We still have a feeling we could play him, but (he) just doesn’t have enough reps right now to make sense of burning his year »

Aside from a brief appearance in the game, Jones has been limited to field work as a rookie He has helped the Nittany Lions defense prepare for taking on opponents while hitting roads with the team of recognition

Penn State has lost all three of its 2019 squad’s starting linebackers, so there’s a need for new impact players Brandon Smith, another five-star signer from 2019, is set to replace Cam Brown at linebacker Sam, and Dixon looks likely to serve as a second-team option there

“We have a ‘next man’ mentality at Penn State, so that definitely makes you hungry more,” Dixon said earlier this month. “The younger ones are trying to grab a spot and fill that gap « 

Rising playmakers are needed at the wide receiver too, where junior Jahan Dotson is the only player to have more than 12 career college strikes Jones was listed as a starter when Penn State produced their only public depth draw at this point in 2020, but that was in April and first-year positional coach Taylor Stubblefield was unable to complete practice before. August

The recent departure from the roster of fellow Florida product John Dunmore leaves Jones as the only receiver remaining in the 2019 Penn State class, and he was followed on campus by five newcomers to the position this year. The receiver remains a major question mark as the Nittany Lions kick off, and it’s still unclear if Jones is ready to seize the early-season opportunities

Due to the current break in NCAA eligibility, Dixon and Jones will technically be third-year students in 2021

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