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Penn State Football Preseason Top 10: No. 5 Jaquan Brisker

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Brisker is one of the known commodities in the Penn State defense coming into 2021.

NCAA Football: Illinois at Penn State Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time for our annual season top 10! Each summer, the staff votes on its top 10 players ahead of the upcoming season. A first place vote is worth 10 points, second place is worth nine points, and so on.

How It Started

The Penn State defense, as a whole, left a ton to be desired last season. The biggest reason for that was because of how much individual talent was available on the field. One such talent is Jaquan Brisker, who had his breakout season last year. His efforts led to appearing in a number of postseason All American and All Conference, including Pro Football Focus and Phil Steele’s lists, as well as The Big Ten’s own coaches and media lists.

In his first season as a starter, Brisker finished third on the team with 57 tackles, 33 of them solo. He tacked on three tackles for loss, an interception, and two QB hurries. His 33 solo tackles were 12th in the Big Ten, while his total tackles put him at 15th in the Big Ten, and third among defensive backs.

What To Expect In 2021

What we hope is a season worth all the early accolades he’s accumulating. Brisker has unsurprisingly appeared in some preseason All Conference and All American lists, and should conceivably start seeing his name mentioned in watchlists for relevant postseason awards soon enough.

Say what you will about the 2020 season, but experience is experience. And, with a year of it as a starter under his belt and not much left to prove other than last season being an anomaly, Brisker now has the opportunity to expand on what he accomplished last season for a full set of games.

Like Jahan Dotson, Brisker passed on the opportunity to go to the NFL this offseason in order to finish what he started, and hopefully leave Penn State in a better place than he found it (while erasing the bitter taste last season left in everyone’s mouth).

If Brisker is able to live up to the expectations that have been placed on him so far, he should come out being on of the best safeties in the country, let alone the conference.