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Meet The 2018 Class: DT PJ Mustipher

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

With Sam Mustipher already at Notre Dame, many expected P.J. Mustipher to follow his brother to South Bend. However, as his recruitment wore on, the youngest Mustipher turned into a battle between Penn State, Maryland, and Tennessee. The Nittany Lions were always considered the favorite, and after sign off from his parents, Mustipher made the call for Penn State on August 7th.

Vitals

Position Hometown High School Height/Weight 247Composite Rank
Position Hometown High School Height/Weight 247Composite Rank
Defensive Tackle Owings Mills, MD McDonogh 6-foot-4, 300 pounds Four-star (0.9494)

Highlights

Scouting Report

Mustipher is a tailor-made 1-Tech. He’s ridiculously quick off the ball, utilizing an elite first step and long arms that allow him to disengage with defenders with ease.

What makes Mustipher even more special is that he’s doing this at 6-foot-4, 300 pounds, and has the frame to hold another 15-20 pounds. He’s already naturally strong, but give him a year or two in a college level strength and conditioning program, and he has the potential to be an Austin Johnson-type defensive tackle. The type of interior defender who excels in holding up blockers in the running game, but yet is athletic enough to stay on the field on third downs to get after the quarterback.

Outlook

Robert Windsor will take over full-time duties at the 1-Tech next season, but who figures to be behind him remains to be seen. Antonio Shelton played sparingly this year, and although he’s looked solid in those few snaps, consistency has always been an issue with the rising redshirt sophomore. Penn State will also see what it has in former four-star recruit Fred Hansard. While Hansard has the potential to be a very good 1-Tech, it’s just that right now — potential.

It’s been a long time since Penn State brought in a defensive tackle of Mustipher’s caliber, especially one that is physically ready and technically sound enough to play from day one. If Mustipher was enrolling early, I think he’d have a full-go green light. But because he won’t be coming until the summer, we’ll be cautious and give him a yellow light. I think we see him next season, but that decision will likely be made by the progress of Shelton and Hansard.

Beyond the 2018 season, Penn State fans should be excited for Mustipher’s career in general. He has a high floor, while his ceiling is an All-Big Ten caliber player. After Micah Parsons and Justin Shorter, I think he’s the third best recruit in the class, and the type of player who will be a difference maker on a championship level team.