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National Signing Day 2017: Welcome to Penn State, Damion Barber

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Damion Barber is officially a “Wild Dog.”

Lions247: Sean Fitz

The culmination of the recruiting season is here, as National Signing Day 2017 is finally upon it. Here at Black Shoe Diaries, we’ll have coverage throughout the day 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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According to defensive line coach Sean Spencer, “Wild Dogs” don’t rebuild, they reload. And that couldn’t be more true than with the addition of four-star Damion Barber. The Harrisburg defensive end committed to the Nittany Lions last February, and has been a crucial building block in the 2017 class.

Vitals

Position High School Height/Weight 247Composite Rank Positional Rank
Position High School Height/Weight 247Composite Rank Positional Rank
Strong-side defensive end Harrisburg, PA 6-foot-3, 244 pounds Four-star (0.8958) No. 298 overall, No. 14 strong-side defensive end, No. 9 player in PA

Highlights

Scouting Report

We’ve seen it since James Franklin started his tenure in Happy Valley, but he loves recruiting defensive prospects that offer positional versatility, and Barber is no different. At 6-foot-3 and pushing 250 pounds, Barber already has solid size for a defensive end. But his frame looks like it could add another 30-40 pounds, so a move inside to the 3-tech defensive tackle spot isn’t out of the question.

Regardless of where Barber ends up on the defensive line, he’s an athletic, quick prospect that has a nonstop motor. He could do a better job with his hand placement, being that he has such an advantage with his long arms, but there’s a lot to like about Barber’s development.

Outlook

Like Yetur Matos, Barber could probably play next year if truly needed, but a redshirt season will be for the best. Give him a year to get adjusted to the college game, and find out where his best spot is — defensive end or defensive tackle. If it’s defensive tackle, he could definitely factor into some playing time in 2018, as Penn State will be replacing Curtis Cothran following this season.