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Penn State in the NFL

Q&A: NSN Chats with Former Penn State S Jaquan Brisker About PSU Safeties Room, NIL, More

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Jaquan Brisker

Former Penn State safety Jaquan Brisker is preparing for his second NFL training camp with the Chicago Bears, which begins Tuesday, July 25. 

Three days before that, Brisker hosted his first youth football camp at his other alma mater, Gateway High School, in the Pittsburgh area. 

Ahead of that camp, Nittany Sports Now caught up with Brisker and asked him about his favorite college team ahead of what’s expected to be a fantastic 2023 season. 

Nittany Sports Now: When you left (safeties), Zakee (Wheatley) and Jaylen (Reed), they were two of the younger players on the defense. Now, they’re veterans. So what are you expecting to see from those guys this year as they’re kind of taking bigger roles, especially with you and now Ji’Ayir (Brown) gone?

Jaquan Brisker: I expect big seasons for them. They’ve seen the way I ran it, the way Ji’Ayir ran it, and they’ve seen it. They’ve seen the work, they’ve seen the leadership, they’ve seen everything on and off the field. So I expect them to fill in those shoes and to keep it going. Penn State’s the new DBU, and you know we’re going to have a lot of DBs go through there, and there’s still more DBs. It’s not just them. They still have a lot of DBs, great coaching, coach Dex, coach Terry and the whole staff. So I feel like they’re going to have dominant years. 

NSN: KJ Winston came in the year after you left. Have you watched much of him, and what are your thoughts?

JB: I got to talk to him. I went there, sat in on meetings, and got to watch him up close and things like that. So I think he’s going to be another great (safety). That’s why I said they have more than Jaylen and Keaton (Ellis), Zakee. You could keep going. Penn State they’re loaded, man. It’s going to be a crazy year for them, but those guys, they’re going to be good.

NSN: Looking back, what would you say is the biggest thing you learned from the DB’s coaches, (Anthony) Poindexter and Coach Terry (Smith), that made you better and helped you get ready for the NFL?

JB: Really, just once you’re in the building, just focus on football, and really just let your instincts take over within the framework. Just be yourself, be a leader, play fast, don’t hide yourself, test greatness. I feel like Coach Dex. He taught me how to read the quarterback, how to be Jaquan Brisker and just be you. He never slowed me down or anything. Coach Terry, he always gave me great knowledge on and off the field. Coach Terry always had my back, same with Coach Dex. Two great coaches. They taught me a lot. I thank them to this day.

NSN: Coach Franklin’s talked a lot about NIL and alumni stepping up to donate. What are your thoughts on that, and is there anything you’re planning on doing to kind of help in that regard for Penn State?

JB: I think the direction Coach Franklin and his staff and everybody’s going is working well with Penn State. Once we get everybody on board, I feel like we could be even more dominant. People think we’re dominant now, but with that NIL and things like that, competing against other schools. Once we get everybody going in the same direction, I feel like we’re going to be a lot more dominant. 

With me, I’m obviously going to take care of Penn State always. 

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