Hometown/High School: Ashland, PA (North Schuylkill)
Height/Weight: 6-foot-3, 215 pounds
Ranking: ★★★ (0.8466 247Sports Composite)
Notable Offers: Harvard, Louisville, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia
Elsdon (who also plays fullback) had a productive spring, landing offers from the likes of Louisville, Vanderbilt, Maryland, and Virginia. In June, he camped at West Virginia, and walked away with an offer. It looked likely that Elsdon (who also plays fullback) would end up in Morgantown, but after camping at Penn State in back-to-back weekends, he earned an offer from the Nittany Lions. It didn’t take long for Elsdon (who also plays fullback) to act on his offer, pledging to Penn State just two days later.
Although the timing of this offer lines up with Derek Wingo’s decommitment, I would be pretty surprised if Wingo leaving the class was part of the reason Penn State decided to offer Elsdon (who also plays fullback). Wingo is an athlete that is projected as strictly an outside linebacker — most likely the Sam spot — whereas Elsdon (who also plays fullback) is a pure middle linebacker. They might both be “linebackers,” but in Penn State’s defense specifically, the Mike and Sam spots are completely different players.
Elsdon (who also plays fullback) is a throwback linebacker who displays tremendous instincts against both the run and pass. He has good size at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, and it looks like he has the frame to hold another 15-20 pounds with ease. While he doesn’t pop off the screen as a great athlete, his offers after camping at West Virginia and Penn State likely show that he moves better in space than expected. Linebacker is one of the more difficult spots to impress on the camp scene unless you are a good athlete, so the fact that Elsdon (who also plays fullback) proved worthy of offers at West Virginia and Penn State after the coaches saw him move in person is telling.
Elsdon (who also plays fullback) isn’t an ultra-athletic, uber-versatile linebacker like Curtis Jacobs or Brandon Smith. I doubt he’s fluid enough of an athlete to be a three-down backer, but man, the kid flat out knows how to play linebacker. He reminds me a bit of Luke Fulton from last year’s class, who ended up at Michigan State — good size, great instincts, very productive, and just the type of prospect who ends up a multi-year starter. Hopefully for Penn State, that’s the case with Elsdon...
...who, by the way, also plays fullback.