Penn State Signees: Defensive Front

Penn State signees on the defensive front are already making an impact. The Nittany Lions signed seven newcomers for 2023. © Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Penn State Nittany Lions have six signees on the defensive front to the 2023 recruiting class. This count includes the defensive line and linebackers. Penn State has produced several great linebackers and edge rushers throughout the years. Most recently Micah Parsons. Parsons is now a star for the Dallas Cowboys. Further, Yetur Gross-Matos and Odafe Oweh are making a name for themselves in the NFL.

The current Penn State roster has several returners for 2023 that will look to continue to make an impact as well. Freshman phenom linebacker, Abdul Carter returns for his sophomore season. In 2022 he recorded 10.5 tackles for loss, six-and-a-half sacks, and two forced fumbles. His rookie season was good for second on the defense in both solo and total tackles. Right behind Carter was fellow linebacker Curtis Jacobs, who will return for the 2023 season. Jacobs recorded seven-and-a-half tackles for loss, four sacks, one interception, one defensive touchdown, two fumbles recovered, and one forced. He was a force to be reckoned with in 2022. Complimenting Carter nicely. So, who are the six signees on the Penn State defensive front learning from them this Spring?

Penn State Signees 2023: Defensive Front

The Linebackers

Two linebackers were signed in the 2023 recruiting class. One has already enrolled for Spring and the other will arrive at Penn State in the Summer. The early enrollee is Tony Rojas. Rojas is a four-star linebacker out of Fairfax, VA. We highlighted his commitment on Early Signing Day back in December. Since enrolling in January, Rojas has already made an immediate impact. Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz spotlights top performers during workouts and Rojas has already been chosen. In addition, he earned Penn State Football’s student-athlete of the week, which is highlighted on social media.  There is no doubt that he will look to help right away in 2023 learning from competitors like Carter, Jacobs, and Tyler Elsdon.

The other linebacker signed in the 2023 recruiting class is Kaveion Keys from Richmond, VA. Keys is a consensus four-star linebacker according to the 247Sports Composite ranking. He is also the sixth-ranked player out of Virginia and the 16th linebacker in the 2023 recruiting class. Keys had offers from North Caroline, Florida, and Auburn to name a few. The linebacker was originally committed to North Carolina but de-committed in early December. This led to his commitment to Penn State five days before Early Signing Day. In addition to linebacker, Keys played wide receiver and several other defensive positions in high school. This shows his versatility and quickness. Further, will allow him to be physical up front, but also quick to drop into coverage. He will be fun to watch over the next few seasons when he arrives on campus this Summer.

Defensive Ends

The Penn State signees on the defensive front make up of four linemen. None of these signees are already enrolled but will look to make an impact when they arrive in the Summer. Two interior linemen and two edge rushers were signed in the 2023 recruiting class. We will start with the edge rushers. Jameial Lyons from Roman Catholic in Philadelphia, PA decided to stay home and play for the Nittany Lions. Lyons is a four-star defensive end according to the 247Sports Composite ranking. He is the fourth-ranked player out of Pennsylvania. In addition, he is ranked 31st out of defensive ends. Roman Catholic has a top-20 football program and Lyons was a multi-year starter for them. Lyons is quick, shows versatility from playing tight end as well as defense, and has a large frame to fill out when he arrives on campus.

Next up is Connecticut prospect Joseph Mupoyi. Mupoyi is a four-star defensive end according to the 247Sports Composite ranking. He is listed as six-foot-five inches and weighs 230 pounds. Mupoyi had offers from Maryland, Miami, and Michigan among others. Despite being ranked as from Connecticut, he played high school football at St. Thomas More in Washington D.C. On signing day Head Coach James Franklin compared Mupoyi to Oweh. Despite these comparisons, don’t expect Mupoyi to make meaningful contributions for a couple of years as he adjusts and grows into the position.

Interior Defensive Line

Two three-star defensive linemen round out the Penn State signees on the defensive front. Mason Robinson and Tyriq Blanding will both enroll at Penn State this Summer. Robinson is a multi-sport athlete out of the McDonough School in Maryland. In addition to football, he plays basketball and baseball. He had offers from Northwestern, Duke, and Georgia before deciding on the Nittany Lions. After taking his official visit to Penn State in early December he de-committed from the Wildcats. Finally, we have Blanding from New York. The six-foot-three-inch defensive lineman weighs 255 pounds and had 17 offers before choosing Penn State. Both of these players will need work when they arrive on campus, but coaches have high hopes for both. They have some time to develop before they will be called on, which is a huge benefit.


Penn State signees on the defensive front are already making an impact. The Nittany Lions signed seven newcomers for 2023. © Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK

© Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK