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Penn State Football All 105

Penn State Football All 105: Keon Wylie Adjusting to Position Change

Graphic from Keon Wylie Twitter

All 105 is a Nittany Sports Now series profiling each Penn State football player. This edition will look at true freshman linebacker Keon Wylie

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 218 pounds

Hometown: Philadelphia 

Before Penn State: Wylie came to Happy Valley after an impactful career at Philadelphia’s Imhotep Charter High School.

He lettered three seasons, won three public league championships, two city league titles and helped Imhotep to the state championship game his senior season, where it fell to Penn Trafford, 17-14, in overtime.

Wylie made an impact in all three of his years as a letterman.

As a sophomore, he had 13 sacks, 20 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles. 

The following season, in a pandemic-shortened campaign, Talley had 12 sacks, 15 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles. Talley’s performance as a senior— nine sacks, 19 tackles for loss— got him invited to the 2022 All-American Bowl. He finished his career at Imhotep with three all-state selections.

Rivals.Com had Talley as a four-star recruit, while 247SportsOn.3 and ESPN had him as a three-star.

Rivals had Wylie as the No. 10 player in Pennsylvania. He committed to Penn State— choosing it over Kentucky and Pitt, among other schools— the day before the Fourth of July in 2021.

Where he stands: Wylie played defensive end in high school but is honing his skills as an inside linebacker early in his college career.

Aside from Curtis Jacobs, Penn State doesn’t have a returning starter at linebacker, so the position needs depth. It remains to be seen if Wylie can provide adequate depth, but defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Manny Diaz is impressed so far.

“Keon Wylie is doing a nice job of after being a guy with his hand in the dirt, playing defensive end to standing and playing MIKE linebacker,” Diaz said at Penn State’s media day Aug. 6.

The MIKE linebacker job will likely go to either Tyler Elsdon or Kobe King, but don’t be surprised to see Wylie get plenty of playing time as a true freshman.

A quote about Wylie: Wylie isn’t as big a name as other Penn State Class of 2022 signees, such as five-star defensive end Dani Dennis-Sutton

Nonetheless, Penn State associate head coach and defensive recruiting coordinator Terry Smith said on early signing day that Wylie “might be the best player (in Penn State’s class) on the defensive side.”

Smith also described Wylie as a “humble servant.”

“He doesn’t say much,” Smith said, “but you look at the production of his film; this guy gets after it every snap. He plays relentless to the football, he comes here, and we put a couple pounds on him, get him a little bit stronger; I think the upside of this guy is tremendous. We’re just excited about what he brings to the table.”

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