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Penn State Football All 105

Penn State Football All 105: Elsdon on Brink of Starting Job

All 105 is a Nittany Sports Now series profiling each Penn State football player. This edition will look at sophomore linebacker Tyler Elsdon

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 233 pounds

Hometown: Frackville, Pennsylvania

Before Penn State: Elsdon grew up in a place where Penn State football is the college team to root for.

“Everyone’s a Penn State fan,” Elsdon told reporters in a Zoom call this past April.

He then illustrated Penn State’s standing in Schuykill County.

“I always tell this story, we have an ice cream joint called ‘Chill Out.’ We always go there, and if you go into the bathroom, just to wash your hands, go into the bathroom, whatever, there’s a big picture of Beaver Stadium. I just think it’s funny because you can never really escape Penn State football where I’m from.”

Penn State was the last school to offer Elsdon, and when he got the offer, the college choice became an easy one.

“I was kind of recruited pretty late just overall from colleges,” Elsdon said in April. “I think I was going into my senior year before I got any attention. Penn State was obviously my last offer, and I committed almost immediately. When they offered me, I said, ‘yeah, I’m 99.9 percent sure this is where I’m coming.’

Elsdon said his mother took care of the .1 percent that might have had doubts.

A three-star recruit according to 247Sports’ composite rankings, he committed to Penn State in June of 2019.

2020: Elsdon made his college debut and his first college tackle in Penn State’s season-ending win over Illinois at Beaver Stadium.

2021: Elsdon played in 12 of Penn State’s 13 games, both at linebacker and on special teams.

In the Outback Bowl against Arkansas, Elsdon received increased playing time dude to Brandon Smith and Ellis Brooks opting out, and picked up a career-high six tackles.

Where he stands: Elsdon is currently in a well-publicized position battle with Kobe King for the starting MIKE linebacker position.

In any case, whoever loses that battle should still get a solid amount of playing time in coordinator Manny Diaz’s first defense at Penn State, in a linebacking corps that, aside from Curtis Jacobs and Jonathan Sutherland, lacks experience in key roles.

But at the moment, Elsdon has the edge in the position battle.

A quote about Elsdon: “I’d say, right now, Elsdon is a little bit ahead of Kobe (King),” Penn State coach James Franklin said at this past Wednesday’s media availability. “Kobe’s still kind of figuring it all out. You have to remember, he’s still a redshirt freshman, and that guy (the MIKE linebacker) is basically the quarterback of the defense, so he’s going to play in Game 1.”

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