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Penn State football linebacker corps ranked top-3 in the nation

The elite Penn State football linebacker corps was recently ranked in the top-3 nationally.



Penn State football linebacker
© Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK

Penn State is known as “Linebacker U” for a reason — no one produces linebackers of the caliber or at the rate that the Nittany Lions have over the years. Today, On3 released its top 10 LB units heading into the 2023 season, and the Penn State football linebacker corps broke into the top three.

With returning stars like Abdul Carter and veteran faces such as Curtis Jacobs and Kobe King, the 2023 Penn State football linebacker corps is looking as good as it has been in years. Heading into year two of the Manny Diaz era of football in State College, the Nittany Lions’ LB corps has been ranked as the No. 3 unit in the nation and the best in the Big Ten.

Penn State football linebacker corps ranked as the No. 3 room in the nation, No. 1 in Big Ten

The Penn State Nittany Lions’ not-so-secret weapon on the defensive side of football is Abdul Carter, a Freshman All-American linebacker and former four-star recruit from the class of 2022 who shined as a true freshman last season. Now, heading into the 2023 season, Carter is regarded as one of the top linebackers in the Big Ten and the nation, and he has high expectations to meet. However, he appears to be up for the challenge. Another young standout to watch among the Lions’ LBs is true freshman Tony Rojas, who has been turning heads nationally throughout his first spring camp in State College.

Alongside these two young stars are more experienced faces who have also seen significant development heading into the 2023 season: Kobe King and Curtis Jacobs. This dangerous trio of elite LBs should propel the Nittany Lion defense to be one of the best in the country for the second season in a row.

Why rank Penn State in the top-3? On3’s take

Here is what On3 had to say about ranking the Penn State football linebacker corps among the top-3 in the country:

“The Nittany Lions have one of the most exciting inside linebackers in America in Abdul Carter, a 6-3, 235-pound missile who reminded some PSU fans of former star Micah Parsons in 2022. As a freshman, Carter, who plays WILL and some MIKE, ranked No. 2 on the team in sacks (6.5) and TFLs (10.5) and added a bunch of other impact plays with QB hurries, forced fumbles and PBUs. He’s flanked alongside Curtis Jacobs, third on the team with 52 stops, and Kobe King, who had 41 tackles as a freshman. Penn State isn’t lacking a nice mixture of veteran and youthful depth either, with Top 100 freshman Tony Rojas looking to crack the rotation.”

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Chris Mangum is currently a Penn State student and serves as a writer and editor covering Big Ten athletics. He has served as a beat writer, online reporter, print reporter, and more over the past few years of his career. He currently serves as the managing editor for Basic Blues Nation and others.