Penn State’s secondary received a big boost on Tuesday afternoon as safety Ji’Ayir Brown announced that he is returning to Penn State for one more season.
After some struggles during his first season with the program in 2020, Brown broke out in 2021, leading the Nittany Lions in interceptions with four on the year. He also finished No. 3 on the team with 68 solo tackles — outpacing former Lackawanna J.C. teammate Jaquan Brisker, who finished with 64.
Brown’s return means that Penn State won’t have to replace both starting safety spots, with the aforementioned Brisker off to the NFL. Given Brown’s improvements from 2020 to 2021, expectations will be high for his play in 2022.
The Nittany Lions now await NFL decisions from the following players: LT Rasheed Walker, DE Arnold Ebiketie, DE Jesse Luketa, DT PJ Mustipher, and CB Joey Porter Jr. LB Brandon Smith already announced his intention to leave for the NFL Draft early, while fellow LB Ellis Brooks announced that he wouldn’t be taking advantage of the NCAA’s COVID season.