Penn State strengthened its defensive end depth Tuesday morning when Maryland transfer Demeioun Robinson committed.
Robinson was a four-star recruit in the 2021 class and 247Sports’ composite rankings had him as the fourth-ranked edge rusher in the country.
With Arnold Ebiketie departing from last seasons squad, the Nittany Lions won’t be returning their best edge rusher from 2021, and although the Nittany Lions interior defensive line has several returners from last season, edge depth has been more of a question throughout the spring.
Although it’s won’t be clear for a while how much Robinson will be used in coordinator Manny Diaz’s defense, here’s a look at his usage at Maryland in 2021 compared to Penn State’s returners at defensive end, with snap counts provided by Pro Football Focus.
*Note: This doesn’t include Adisa Isaac, who missed all of 2021 with an injury and is expected to play a big role for the Nittany Lions this season if healthy.
2021 SNAP COUNTS OF ROBINSON AND PENN STATE’S RETURNING DEFENSIVE ENDS
1. Nick Tarburton— 471 snaps at DL
2. Demeioun Robinson— 227
3. Smith Vilbert— 181
4. Zuriah Fisher— 119
5. Amin Vanover— 82
So if Robinson had been on last year’s team, he would have been second among Penn State defensive ends in snaps at defensive line among those who will be back for 2022. It might be a stretch to say Robinson will start right away for Penn State, with him being still just a sophomore, a new player and with Isaac’s return. But with Robinson’s upside and Penn State’s lack of proven returners, there’s no reason to think he won’t play a big role for this year’s team and for the following two years as well.