All 105 is a Nittany Sports Now series profiling each Penn State football player. This edition will look at true freshman defensive Ken Talley.
Weight: 238 pounds
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Before Penn State: Talley comes to Penn State after a successful career at Philly’s Northeast High School.
A two-time team captain, Talley helped Northeast to 6A public league championships in his sophomore and senior seasons.
Talley made PAFootballnews.Com’s All-State spring team as a junior, and his play as a senior last fall made him a U.S. Army first-team All-American.
He finished his last high school season with 95 tackles (34 solo), 20 tackles for loss, 12 sacks and 11 hurries.
247Sports, Rivals, On3 and ESPN all rated Talley a four-star recruit. 247, Rivals and ESPN all had him as a top ten overall player in Pennsylvania from his class, and On3 had him just shy at No. 11.
Talley stayed in-state and committed to Penn State in September 2020, choosing coach James Franklin’s program over Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee and Texas A&M, among others.
Where he stands: With Jesse Luketa and Arnold Ebiketie gone, Penn State will look to younger players to step up on the edges.
With five-star Dani Dennis-Sutton and big-time transfer Chop Robinson in the fold, Adisa Isaac returning from injury, and Nick Tarburton returning after starting last season, it will be challenging for Talley to break through as a true freshman.
A quote about Talley: “Ken is the life of the party. He has the biggest personality. He loves having fun with the people around him, from his family to his teammates and our staff, and it’s contagious. He’s always got a big smile on his face. He plays with a passion that can’t be taught. I’ve never seen someone play with such passion, and we’ve had great players come through our program, and he’s special. I remember a play when he chased down one of the top track stars in the area to save a touchdown. He does some freakish plays on the field. From hard hits to physical plays, running sideline-to-sideline, he’s a game changer.” – Eric Clark, Northeast head coach