A potential Penn State football commitment spree started earlier than expected Thursday night. The Nittany Lions landed a verbal pledge from Jaquan Brisker, who is considered the No. 1 junior college safety recruit in 247Sports 2019 rankings.
Brisker, who attends Lackawanna College (Scranton, Pa.), revealed his decision well after bedtime for plenty of Penn State fans. The 2017 Gateway (Monroeville, Pa.) High School graduate tweeted the news at nearly midnight:
COMMITTED!!!!! 🦁🔵⚪️ pic.twitter.com/46vD54sc7j
— Quanny B. (@JaquanBrisker) May 18, 2018
Listed ninth overall among JUCO players in the 2019 class, Brisker received a scholarship offer from the Nittany Lions on Nov. 30. The 6-foot-1, 197-pound prospect used an impressive first college season to build an offer sheet that includes Alabama, Ole Miss, Pittsburgh, Utah and West Virginia.
Though he played for a highly respected prep program, academic issues cost Brisker an opportunity to sign with any Power 5 program coming out of high school. He addressed this aspect of his journey in November during a discussion with Mike Vukovcan of Pittsburgh Sports Now after Pitt offered.
“Pitt has actually been looking at me since my junior year in high school, but because of my SAT scores they couldn’t really do anything and their recruitment of me fell off,” Brisker told Vukovcan.
Lackawanna coach Mark Duda has played a role in producing several high-level college football prospects, including eventual NFL players. He anticipated a major wave of interest for Brisker following their first season together.
“It’s going to come fast and furious for him and by the time the spring comes, he’s going a have a bunch places to go,” Duda told William Whalen of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “The kid is a great player and people are going to see a very talented guy go off and help somebody. … I find it hard to believe that he’ll be redshirted because he’s too good to be redshirted.”
Brisker collected 54 tackles and 4 interceptions — returning 2 for touchdowns — in 2017. Watch his freshman season highlights here:
Brisker becomes the fourth member of Penn State’s 2019 recruiting class and the second defensive back, joining State College cornerback Keaton Ellis. The Nittany Lions are also in strong contention for a commitment Monday from 4-star safety Tyler Rudolph, who is one of four top targets set to announce college choices in the next four days.
Penn State hosted Brisker on campus last weekend. The staff especially sold him on school proximity and general comfort, according to 247Sports’ Brian Dohn.
“They were saying it was the right fit for me and my family,” he told Dohn. “They say going to colleges far away, how long it will take and how much money it would cost, but [going to Penn State], my parents would be able to see a home game every Saturday. They were saying for me to see my family after a game and hugging them is important.”
Cleary, Brisker agreed.
He will have three years to play two seasons at the FBS level following his second campaign at Lackawanna College. Penn State signed one safety in its 2018 recruiting class: Nittany Lions legacy Isaiah Humphries.