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Freak Athlete may be ready to burst onto the scene for Penn State

Jordan van den Berg looks to take his talent from the weight room and add it to his on field performance.



Jordan ven den Berg, Penn State football
Sep 17, 2022; Auburn, Alabama, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions defensive tackle Jordan van den Berg (52) celebrates a tackle against the Auburn Tigers during the fourth quarter at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Depth along the defensive line is starting to be a slight concern ahead of the 2023 season for the Penn State football team. The Nittany Lions have lost DE Smith Vilbert and DT Alonzo Ford for the season due to injury. But one thing injuries do create is an opportunity for others to step up in the rotation. For redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Jordan van den Berg an opportunity is all he needs to take his game to the next level.

Freak Athlete may be ready to burst onto the scene for Penn State football

On Tuesday morning Bruce Feldman of the Athletic released his list of College Football Freaks List which includes 101 college football players that have physical abilities that wow you. Penn State had 6 players make the list but the one that stood out the most is DT Jordan van den Berg.

Feldman described the redshirt sophomore, “The 6-3, 304-pound sophomore made nine tackles with 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble last year and is an intriguing project. He puts up freaky numbers in the weight room. This offseason, he benched 455, cleaned 380, and back-squatted 690, but it’s the combination of that strength with his agility numbers that forced his way onto this list. He was clocked at 4.74 in the 40 and his shuttle time of 4.20 might be even more impressive. He also vertical-jumped 31 inches and broad-jumped 9-2.”

This is a rare athlete that continues to get stronger each offseason. His videos are all over social media from the time he spent in the weight room this off-season.

What role will Jordan van den Berg play in 2023?

Jordan is a player that will be hard to keep off the field this year. Outside of Dvon Ellies, Hakeem Beamon, and Coziah Izzard, the rotation behind those players is unknown. The way Manny Diaz rotates players throughout a game, it’s hard to imagine that Jordan van den Burg will be in that 4th or 5th defensive tackle slot.

This is a young player who has a ton of upside, the Penn State football team is hopeful his work in the weight room will transition to the field this fall.

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Former Editor-In-Chief at Victory Bell Rings, Morgan is the current Site Manager for Basic Blues Nation, host of the Basic Blues Podcast, and co-host of the weekly Penn State Roar Room spaces. Morgan lives in upstate New York with his wife and cats.


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