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Penn State true freshman is ready to ‘explode’, says coaching staff

Could this true freshman be the next star up front for Penn State football?



Penn State Football, Jayden Woods, 2025 recruiting, James Franklin
September 9, 2023. Penn State defensive end Jameial Lyons (19) celebrates after recording a sack against Delaware. Credit: Grace Carella // Basic Blues Nation, 2023.

Now a month into the 2023 season, the identity of this year’s Penn State football team is starting to become solidified. Through five games, the Nittany Lions have leaned on a ferocious defense that has stopped opponents in their tracks. Even after an off week, Penn State ranks first in the nation in total defense. While it has primarily been veterans leading the way for the Nittany Lions on defense, a few young stars may soon be ready to break through. One of these players, Penn State true freshman Jameial Lyons, is expected to “explode” in his young career, according to strength and conditioning coach Chuck Losey.

Chuck Losey says Penn State true freshman is ready to “explode”

In a 2023 recruiting class led by top prospects on the offensive line, Jameial Lyons was one of the headliner prospects on the defensive front. A four-star recruit out of Roman Catholic in Philadelphia, Lyons was the No. 4 overall high school player in Pennsylvania, according to the On3 Industry Rankings.

Although he didn’t enroll until the summer, Lyons has already left his mark on the Penn State football coaching staff. During bye week media, strength and conditioning coach Chuck Losey noted that the Penn State true freshman has been highly impressive in all areas so far in his young career.

“I’ll start by saying Jameial has been a great surprise,” Losey commented last week. “I always knew Jameial was talented coming out of high school. Obviously, that’s why he’s here. But his strength, his overall strength, his total body strength is surprisingly very, very good for his build…[I’m] really happy with Jameial in all areas. [He’s] super mature; handles his business. Comes in the building, loves to train. I’m excited to have an offseason with him after the year. Because I think he’s going to absolutely explode.”

Penn State football fans have already had an explosive introduction to Jameial Lyons

If the comments from Chuck Losey weren’t enough, Penn State football fans have already seen the explosive potential of Jameial Lyons firsthand. In the Nittany Lions’ second game of the year against Delaware, Lyons made a strong first impression with a crushing sack, the first of his career.

Lyons has only appeared in two games so far, opening the door to see him later this season while maintaining his redshirt. Moving forward, Losey noted that Lyons’s athleticism creates flexibility for where to play the Penn State true freshman. But the plan is to play Lyons on the edge.

As he continues to add weight – Losey thinks he could play at as heavy as 270 pounds – Jameial Lyons could become a force to be reckoned with on the Penn State defensive front.

“He’s one of those gifted guys where, genetically, he could go either way,” Losey said of Lyons’s position versatility. “But we recruited him here to be an end. So, we’re gonna plan on him to be an end. But his growth potential is high. He’s going to be able to put on a ton of mass… He’s put 15 pounds on since he’s been here already in a short amount of time. And that’s while we’re playing football, so he’s going to explode in the offseason.”

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Matt is a co-owner and Editor in Chief of Basic Blues Nation. Launched in 2022, Basic Blues Nation is one of the fastest-growing websites covering all Penn State athletics, with over 3.5 million readers in 2023. Matt is also a credentialed member of the Penn State football beat, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.


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