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Jesse Luketa: Goal is to be ‘among the greatest’ LBs ever at PSU

Photo by Penn State Athletics

With Micah Parsons gone to the NFL, Penn State will be looking for its next great linebacker.

Jesse Luketa believes it can be him.

Asked last week how he’d like to be remembered at PSU, Luketa didn’t hold back.

“Among the greatest,” he said.

“Speaking with LaVar Arrington, that’s someone I consider my uncle. We talk day in and day out. When I was spending some time training in LA with him, we talked rigorously about this every single day — how are you gonna be remembered? So it’s been engrained in my head. So whenever I step on the practice field … that’s the only thing that’s going on in my mind: How are you going to be remembered? … It keeps me hungry, and I keep that little chip on my shoulder.”

Luketa, a junior, had 24 tackles last season (15 solo) and half a sack. He spent his offseason watching old game film from past PSU greats.

“I would watch Mike Hull. Once I finished that I was going over (Jason) Cabinda’s film. Then I’d go back, I was even watching film of Deion Barnes, who’s now one of our graduate assistants,” Luketa said.

“So just watching their film, how they did things, I try to pull some things I like from Hull, some things I like from Cabinda and try to bring it to my own game. I even watch Micah’s film, things I see he does and how I can incorporate in my game. I feel like it’s only gonna allow me to be the best player, be the best version of myself. So, being able to be a diligent student of the game is only gonna make me be a better player, because once the game slows down for me up here psychologically, now it’s easy. It’s like stealing candy from a baby out there on the field.”

Luketa said all he’s focused on this season is “leaving my legacy.”

Here’s more from the linebacker in this Q&A, and you can watch his entire video interview, as well:

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Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career.

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