Addition of Lackawanna College safety may start recruiting run for Penn State football

(Wilkes-Barre) Times-Leader (TNS)
  • The nation's top junior college safety recruit, Jaquan Brisker, has committed to Penn State.
  • Brisker played for Lackawanna College, where he starred as a freshman last season.
  • Brisker's offer list included Alabama, Ole Mill, Pitt and Utah.

Thanks to Lackawanna College, Penn State’s anticipated recruiting surge began a day earlier than expected.

Penn State

With two of the Nittany Lions’ top targets already set to announce their college decisions Friday, the Lions ended up with an unscheduled verbal commitment on Thursday night.

Lackawanna’s Jaquan Brisker, rated by 247Sports as the nation’s top junior college safety, pledged to Penn State as the fourth member of the Lions’ 2019 signing class. Brisker went public for the Lions shortly before midnight on Twitter.

Originally from the Pittsburgh area, Brisker starred as a freshman for Lackawanna last fall, where he led the team with four interceptions and was second with 54 tackles.

He will play his sophomore season for the Falcons this year and would then have three years to play two seasons of eligibility at Penn State.

Listed at 6-foot-2, 197 pounds, Brisker is ranked as a three-star prospect by 247Sports and is the service’s No. 9 overall JUCO prospect for this cycle. His offer list included reigning national champ Alabama, with Ole Miss, Pitt and Utah also in the mix.

Brisker would be the third Falcons player to sign with the Lions since James Franklin arrived in Happy Valley in 2014, joining tackle Paris Palmer and defensive lineman Brenon Thrift.

Palmer earned a handful of starts at tackle before his senior season was cut short by a serious knee injury in 2016. Thrift was a last-minute addition in the 2016 signing class and transferred out after one year.

Both Brisker and Thrift played at Gateway High School, the same program Penn State assistant coach Terry Smith helmed as head coach and athletic director for many years.

Under the direction of recent NJCAA Hall of Fame inductee, coach Mark Duda of Wyoming Valley West, Lackawanna has sent prospects on to powerhouse programs across the country.

Penn State has also offered Brisker’s teammate, offensive lineman Anthony Whigan, who is the country’s No. 6 overall JUCO prospect.

Brisker joins State College High School defensive back Keaton Ellis, New Jersey quarterback Ta’Quan Roberson and New Jersey offensive lineman Caedan Wallace in Penn State’s 2019 class. And the group could grow as soon as tomorrow.

A pair of four-star recruits — Virigina running back Devyn Ford and New Jersey defensive lineman Anthony Alfano — are both set to announce their college decisions in ceremonies on Friday. Both have Penn State among their finalists.