Welcome to Black Shoe Diaries' coverage of National Signing Day 2016. Our goal is to make sure that you know everything you need to know about every member of Penn State's 2016 recruiting class, including what fans should expect from them, some highlight tape and more. We truly appreciate you taking the time to follow along with our coverage of all things Penn State recruiting-related over the past year, and we can't wait to continue to ramp up our coverage for 2017. So whether you've been reading the site for years, or a first-time reader who just stumbled upon Black Shoe Diaries, we hope you stick around.
To read up on all of the other members of the 2016 recruiting class, simply head back to the main draft board, where recruits will be added as their official letters of intent roll in.
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One of the key positions Penn State was looking to stock up on in the 2016 class was defensive tackle, and they landed one of the best in the country with Ellison Jordan. Though he'll never be the biggest body on the defensive line, he could very well end up being one of the most disruptive. Comparing a player who has yet to play a down of football for Penn State isn't fair, but Jordan has the look of a younger version of a recent defensive tackle star to come through Happy Valley: Jordan Hill.
|High School||Gilman (Md.)|
|Positional Rank||#164 player overall, #18 defensive tackle, #6 player in Maryland|
|Commitment Date||June 26, 2015|
Though comparing Ellison Jordan to Jordan Hill is unfair at this point, it's a good comparison to understand the kind of player Jordan is. His most valuable traits are his first step off the snap, and his ability to hand fight with offensive linemen. While he does have the ability to run over an unsuspecting interior lineman, Jordan's real strength lies in his ability to get around his blocker thanks to active and powerful hands. He would certainly benefit from playing next to more of a run-stuffing type defender, as he is someone who could be dominated by a double team of division one linemen. But if Penn State can find him the right partner in the middle, they could be looking at a new Devon Still/Jordan Hill or Austin Johnson/Anthony Zettel partnership in the future.
Ideally, Jordan could benefit from a redshirt, which would give him time to refine his game. However, Penn State's defensive tackle depth is so thin, that Ellison could realistically find himself grabbing a few minutes of game time here and there as a true freshman, perhaps more if he impresses while he's in there. As mentioned above, he'll do his best work when he's paired with a big, run-stuffing presence next to him, who would eat up double teams and allow him to work one-on-one with the man in front of him. If Penn State can find the right pieces to build a defensive line in that mold, Jordan could become the next, great Penn State defensive tackle.