Linebacker-U received some great news on Tuesday afternoon as rising senior Curtis Jacobs announced that he is returning to Penn State for the 2023 season.
Rising senior linebacker Curtis Jacobs announced he is returning to Penn State for the 2023 season. pic.twitter.com/TnMeX6VDFg— Black Shoe Diaries (@BSDtweet) January 10, 2023
Jacobs will be a three-year starter for the Nittany Lions, having seen time at both the Sam and the Will linebacker spots the last two seasons. In 2021, Jacobs finished the season with 61 tackles, 7 TFLs, and 3 sacks, and had similar production this past season: 52 tackles, 7.5 TFLs, and 4 sacks.
With the breakout season that Abdul Carter had at the Will, expect Jacobs to see the large majority of his snaps at the Sam next season. That should be a good move for all parties involved as Jacobs looked much more comfortable playing outside of the box and in space, which makes him a cleaner fit for the Sam. The middle will once again be manned by either Tyler Elsdon or Kobe King, with perhaps rising redshirt freshman Keon Wylie making some noise in the spring.
With the return of Jacobs, I think the question can be asked: what defensive position group can be looked at as a true weakness? Of course, there are going to be question marks. Having to replace PJ Mustipher, Joey Porter Jr. and Ji’Ayir Brown is going to be no small task. But when you look across this defense and see what Penn State has returning and waiting in the wings, it should really excite you as a Penn State football fan. Toss in that Manny Diaz is back for his second year with the unit, and the Penn State defense will very rightfully get a lot of respect this offseason as one of the best in the entire country.