Penn State’s Dom DeLuca, several other linebackers battle for 2 vacant positions


Apr. 3—When Penn State decided to move Abdul Carter to defensive end this offseason, it created a second vacancy at linebacker.

Kobe King will return at middle linebacker for the Nittany Lions, but several players are jockeying to replace Carter and Curtis Jacobs, who’s off to the NFL.

“We have great linebackers,” outside linebacker Dom DeLuca said Wednesday. “We have a lot of depth and a lot of young kids, too. It’s going to be a competition. Everyone is hungry to play.

“You’ve got a lot of people. It’s exciting.”

At least five players will battle to be the starting outside linebackers: Tony Rojas, Ta’Mere Robinson, Keon Wylie, Kaveion Keys and DeLuca, who has the most experience of the group.

A fourth-year junior, DeLuca played behind Jacobs on the strong side last season and had 29 tackles, including 4.5 for losses; two interceptions, including one that he returned for a touchdown; three pass breakups; two forced fumbles and a blocked punt.

Rojas, a sophomore who has drawn rave reviews since he enrolled in January 2023, played in every game last season and had 22 tackles (3.5 for losses), one interception and one forced fumble.

“He picks up the game really fast and really well,” DeLuca said about Rojas. “He’s always excited to learn, is doing a lot of film study, a lot of study with the coaches and just asking a lot of questions.

“He’s a great athlete and I’m excited for him this year.”

DeLuca said Robinson, a redshirt freshman, has been productive during spring practice.

“Ta’Mere Robinson has been having a great spring so far,” he said. “He’s excited to learn, and he’s hungry. He’s fast and he’s learning this defense very well. He’s excited to play, and it’s very noticeable.”

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Author : Reading Eagle, Pa.

Publish date : 2024-04-04 03:51:00

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