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Penn State All 105: Is Tony Rojas The Next One at LBU?

Sophomore standout linebacker Tony Rojas celebrates a second quarter tackle.

The state of Wisconsin is known for cheese, the state of Nebraska for corn and Penn State football for linebackers, which Tony Rojas is.

Rojas showed his talent in a limited sample as a true freshman last season.

In year two, he’s slated to have a much bigger role.

Curtis Jacobs is gone to the NFL. Abdul Carter is still with Penn State but now playing defensive end, creating a first-team all-Big Ten-sized void at linebacker. People need to step up for Penn State. Many are expecting the biggest leap to come from Rojas.

He’s the subject in our latest edition of All 105, a Nittany Sports Now series profiling each Penn State football player.

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 225 pounds 

Hometown: Fairfax, Virginia 

Before Penn State: Rojas came to Penn State as arguably the most hyped player in the school’s 2023 Class. The four-star recruit was a standout at both linebacker and running back. He won All-Metro Offensive Player of the Year as a senior. Rojas put up video game numbers offensively. He ran for 2,239 yards and 35 touchdowns. But his bread and butter was on the other side of the ball. Rojas ended his senior season with 72 tackles (14 for loss), 13 sacks, forcing five fumbles and broke up four passes. He committed to Penn State in July 2022. Rojas picked the school over Clemson, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia Tech, among others.

Last year: Rojas burned his redshirt, playing in all 13 games as a true freshman, appearing on both defense and special teams. He ended the season with 21 tackles (seven solo), a forced fumble, 3.5 tackles for loss and an interception. The forced fumble and interception each came in Penn State’s 51-15 win at Maryland Nov. 4.

Where he stands: Rojas is currently projected by one outlet to start at WILL linebacker, but is also capable of playing SAM. Wherever he ends up on the field, he is a man many see as a prototypical linebacker.

“Rojas is exactly how we would like them built in terms his length and athleticism,” coach James Franklin said on Rojas’ signing day in December 2022. “He’s a guy that you watch his tape; you could make the argument he could play running back here. That’s the type of athleticism that he has.”

A quote by Rojas: ”Towards the end of the season, I was obviously more ready. But in the beginning I was seeing some playing time, but he saw my eyes and knew I had to develop more. So see, I appreciate him not rushing me.” — Tony Rojas on former DC Manny Diaz being patient with his development as a true freshman, StateCollege.com.

A quote about Rojas: “His performance numbers and metrics, they just keep climbing. A lot of times when guys get on campus, they put 20 pounds on, it’s at the detriment of something — usually their movement. Not Tony.” — Strength coach Chuck Losey earlier this year.

More All 105s

S DaKarri Nelson

RB Kaytron Allen

WR Anthony Ivey

DE Abdul Carter

RB Nicholas Singleton

QB Beau Pribula 

WR Tyler Johnson

CB Zion Tracy

WR Kaden Saunders

WR Trey Wallace 

S Zakee Wheatley

CB Cam Miller

WR Omari Evans

CB A.J. Harris

CB Jalen Kimber

WR Julian Fleming 

S KJ Winston

WR Liam Clifford

S Jaylen Reed 

LB Dom DeLuca

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