The rising junior will be a key reserve for Penn State’s secondary this year following the departure of Jordan Lucas. Originally recruited as a wide receiver, Apke made the transition to safety before his freshman year. Since then he has been a contributor on special teams in addition to filling in for injuries and spelling the starters at the safety position. Playing in every game last season, Apke’s experience will make him a valuable asset on special teams, and a reliable backup in the secondary.
It will be a nice luxury this year to have such an experienced player able to come off the bench. Two years ago, as a true freshman, Apke was called-on to play and perform in the secondary due to injuries to the starters - now he will be fighting for playing with Marcus Allen, Koa Farmer, and Malik Golden.
Competition in the secondary is a good thing, and reports from the coaches sound like it is starting to pay off. Defensive coordinator Brent Pry has noticed an increase in the confidence of the group, and hopes that it will allow the secondary to play more aggressive.
“A big part of playing in the secondary to me is confidence, and we’ve got a confident group. We wanted to challenge more. We wanted hands on more balls. That was the area we thought we needed to improve on, and at least in the spring, we feel like we’ve made some progress there.”