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Penn State Football All 105

Penn State Football All 105: From South Africa to State College, Jordan van den Berg Gives Penn State Strength

Photo courtesy of Penn State Athletics: Jordan van den Berg

All 105 is a Nittany Sports Now series profiling each Penn State football player. This edition will look at redshirt freshman defensive tackle Jordan van den Berg.

Height: 6-foot-3 

Weight: 291 pounds

Hometown: Johannesburg, South Africa

Before Penn State: Van Den Berg didn’t have a conventional path to Happy Valley. 

Born in Johannesburg, van den Berg never played American football until his sophomore year of high school. 

Once he started, however, he took to the game well. 

He lettered three years at Providence Christian Academy in Lilburn, Georgia, then played at Iowa Western Community College in the spring of 2021. 

Van den Berg played eight games for Iowa Western and helped the team to an 8-1 record, finishing the year with 13 tackles, one sack and four tackles for loss, becoming a first-team junior college All-American. 

He committed to Penn State that June. 

2021: Van den Berg redshirted his first season at Penn State but did play four games, finishing the year with six tackles (four solo), two tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble. 

He made his Penn State debut in Week 2 against Ball State. Against Maryland, he picked up his first Penn State sack and forced fumble on the same play in the fourth quarter of Penn State’s 31-14 win. 

Van den Berg’s most significant sample size was at the Outback Bowl against Arkansas, when he received an extended look thanks primarily to starting defensive tackle Derrick Tangelo opting out. 

Van den Berg finished the Outback Bowl with five total tackles (three solo) and a tackle for loss. 

Where he stands: Although not expected to start for Penn State in 2022, van den Berg is an intriguing player. 

His respectable performance in the Outback Bowl—and more than respectable performance in the weight room— are reasons to be excited for the depth van den Berg brings to Penn State’s defensive line.

If either PJ Mustipher or Hakeem Beamon gets injured or can’t perform up to par, van den Berg could be a reliable option to step up.

A quote about van den Berg: 

At Penn State’s second-year player media availability back in May, redshirt freshman Landon Tengwall discussed van den Berg’s aggressive mentality. 

“It’s just constant,” Penn State offensive lineman Landon Tengwall said. “Some guys, later in the series, you can see they’re kind of tired, and they might not chase the ball down, chase the running back down, whatever it may be. But he’s just 100 miles an hour. If he’s on the field, he’s going 100 miles an hour for sure.”

 

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