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Time to Step Up: D'Anton Lynn

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It feels like D'Anton Lynn has been around the program forever.  Lynn has been a four year contributor and three year starter for the Nittany Lions since he arrived on campus from Celina, Texas as a 4 star prospect.  He was a great get for a Nittany Lion team that doesn't necessarily dip into Texas all too often, unless of course we are looking for a kicker that has a hankering for Cruzan Mango Rum. 

Lynn was a highly touted prospect with offers from USC, Florida, Ohio State, and Oklahoma but he choose to come to Penn State to play for Tom Bradley and his bend but don't break defense.  Lynn does have a strong set of bloodlines, one of the reasons fans were so excited for him to arrive on campus.  His father, Anthony, is the current New York Jets running back coach and former two time Super Bowl Championship (backup) running back with the Denver Broncos. 

Because his dad has the NFL connections, a few people (message boards mostly) thought Lynn might bolt Happy Valley for the greener pastures of the NFL after last season.  Luckily for us he stayed put and Penn State will look for Lynn to hold down one of the corner spots while Stephon Morris, Chaz Powell and maybe Derrick Thomas (if he stops trying to star in the remake of 'The Fighter' and the Up in Smoke Tour) battle for the other spot.

Lynn was by far Penn State's best defensive back last season finishing the season 2nd on the team with 75 tackles and tied for first with 3 interceptions with safety Nick Sukay.  Lynn did have a few moments where he got burned deep (see photo above) and that is the type of stuff he will need to work on this spring if Penn State wants to have a shot against Alabama, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Nebraska.  The fact that he doesn't have any competition for his spot could be a bad thing, but hopefully Lynn wants to win another Big 10 Championship before he takes off for the NFL.

Lynn  also has a chance to be the defensive captain this season, that is if his teammates don't opt for a surprise pick like Jack Crawford or Brandon Ware.  Like Lynn says in the clip below, the secondary is the most experienced unit on the defense, which is a scary thought considering the style of defense we play.  It might be tough for the 2011 version of the Smurfs to get things done if they get zero help from a defensive line that is practically a skeleton crew at this point and a linebacker corps that has had its own injury issues and is fairly young.  There is always hope.  And if that doesn't work...there is always next season.

Check out D'Anton's spring comments.  It's all about experience.