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National Signing Day 2017: Welcome to Penn State, Brelin Faison-Walden

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The Nittany Lions need linebackers, and they get a good one in the OLB from North Carolina.

Photo courtesy of 247sports

The culmination of the recruiting season is just around the corner, as National Signing Day 2017 is only days away. Here at Black Shoe Diaries, we’ll have coverage of Penn State’s recruiting class, taking a player-by-player look at each member of the class, and taking a bigger picture look at the class as a whole. Thanks for stopping by, and if you aren’t already following, please follow @BSDTweet on Twitter for more recruiting news and notes.

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Brelin Faison-Waldon fills a position of immense need for the Nittany Lions, and as an early enrollee, has already set foot on campus to begin his PSU journey. The southern native picked James Franklin and Co last summer over offers from Alabama, Florida State, Michigan, Georgia, Texas Tech, Louisville, Clemson, and Virginia Tech, amongst others.

Vitals

Position High School Height/Weight 247Composite Rank Positional Rank
Position High School Height/Weight 247Composite Rank Positional Rank
Outside Linebacker Greensboro, NC (Grimsley) 6-foot-1, 200 pounds Three-star (0.8721) No. 462 overall, No. 26 cornerback, No. 14 player in North Carolina

Highlights

Scouting Report

Committing almost immediately after 2016’s Lasch Bash, Faison-Walden was recruited by many as a safety due to his size, but he projects closer to the line of scrimmage for Brent Pry. He played a hybrid role for Grimsley, as well as running back and pass catching out of the backfield for his high school squad.

An instinctive player with great eyes, Faison-Walden has a “high football IQ” and non-stop motor. He also takes good angles on the ball already, and instinctively knows where the ball is on most plays.

Outlook

Redshirt No

Faison-Walden is small for a linebacker, and as of now more fits the mold of a Koa Farmer type—but his frame has room to grow, and since he’s already on campus, Dwight Galt has likely already started bulking him up.

He’ll already have started learning the schemes, and could be a force in pseudo nickel packages, as well as special teams, immediately come September. Penn State’s depth concerns at the linebacker position are well known, and Faison-Walden could lend depth in his hybrid role, providing speed in a variety of Pry’s well-liked blitz packages, as well as good special teams coverage.

With Jason Cabinda, Cam Brown, Manny Bowen, Brandon Smith, Jake Cooper, and Farmer all ahead of him on the depth chart, Faison-Walden won’t crack the starting lineup immediately but could challenge for a more major role in the linebacker corps in 2018 after getting his feet wet this true freshman year, and having the game slow down for him.