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Meet The 2018 Class: Four-Star LB Jesse Luketa

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Taking a prospect-by-prospect look at Penn State’s elite 2018 recruiting class.

Jesse Luketa

Canada has been good to Penn State in recent years, with the Nittany Lions landing Daniel Joseph and Jonathan Sutherland in the 2016 and 2017 classes. 2018 was no different for Penn State as another Canadian transplant, Jesse Luketa, committed to the Nittany Lions last February. Luketa ended up being the outspoken leader of the class, and played a big part in helping build the class.

Vitals

Position Hometown High School Height/Weight 247Composite Rank
Position Hometown High School Height/Weight 247Composite Rank
Linebacker Erie, PA (via Canada) Mercyhurst Prep 6-foot-2, 240 pounds Four-star (0.9119)

Highlights

Scouting Report

Luketa is a well-rounded linebacker who looks comfortable no matter what you ask him to do. He’s an instinctual player who’s at his best when attacking the line of scrimmage, but yet plays under control, very rarely being caught over pursuing. When dropping back in coverage, Luketa displays a great feel for the game, flashing the field awareness three-down linebackers need to have on passing downs.

Luketa has ideal size for a linebacker at 6-foot-2, 240 pounds, but in this blogger’s opinion, would be best served playing in the 230-pound area. Speed and quickness is becoming more and more important at the linebacker spot, and while Luketa’s a good athlete as evidenced by his 34-inch vertical, but his 5.04-second 40-time is a little concerning. Taking a cue from Jason Cabinda who lost 15 pounds following his sophomore season, Luketa should be able to improve his mobility by dropping some weight.

Outlook

We’ve touched on Penn State’s depth problems at linebacker enough to know that Luketa has a good shot at seeing the field right away. Along with a bunch of other dudes, he’ll get some run in the middle, but Luketa has the versatility to also be an option at the weak-side spot. The jump in competition from Mercyhurst to the Big Ten will be steep, but Luketa enrolling early to take part in spring practice will be invaluable once the fall hits.

Being the leader for the 2018 class, it should be no surprise that Luketa has the makings of a future captain in Happy Valley. He’s already displayed an appreciation for the program’s history, as evidenced by donning the prestigious #11 jersey on previous visits. Simply put, this kid loves Penn State, and will be a fan favorite for years to come.