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Penn State Football All 105

Penn State All 105: Big Zane Durant Looking to Build on Successful Sophomore Season

Zane Durant celebrates a Nittany Lions third down stop.

Zane Durant was part of one of the most anticipated recruiting classes in Penn State history.

The 2022 class was headlined by QB Drew Allar, RBs Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen and LB-turned-DE Abdul Carter.

Being a three-star recruit, Durant was overshadowed, and to an extent, he still is.

As a sophomore, Durant became a regular starter on a unit that ended the season No. 1 in the county in total defense. Himself a unit at 288 pounds, Durant progressed into a key contributor capable of making some impact plays at the defensive tackle position. Now, he’s going into Year 3, and he’s the latest subject of All 105, a Nittany Sports Now series profiling each Penn State football player.

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 288 pounds

Hometown: Lake Nona, Florida 

Before Penn State: Zane Durant played football all four years at Lake Nona High School and was a two-time team captain. Durant finished his senior season with 66 tackles, a school-record 15 sacks, 28 tackles for loss and 38 quarterback hurries. Durant also set Lake Nona’s records for career sacks and tackles and has the school’s shot-put record. He also placed eighth in the state as a junior. 247Sports, Rivals, On3 and ESPN all had Durant as a four-star recruit. He committed to Penn State on the Fourth of July in 2021, choosing coach James Franklin’s program over Auburn, Indiana and Miami, among others.

2022: Durant played in all 13 games, ending the season with five tackles and one sack, which took place against Maryland Nov. 12.

Last year: With team leader P.J. Mustipher moving onto the NFL, Penn State needed somebody to step up at defensive tackle. Durant became that guy. He started 11 of 13 games, ending the season with 17 tackles (12 solo), two sacks, 5.5 tackles for loss, a fumble recovery and a quarterback hurry. At the end of the season, the media named him All-Big Ten honorable mention.

Where he stands: Durant proved last season that he’s good enough to start in the Big Ten. Now, the big question is if he’ll be good enough to where declaring for the NFL Draft— which he’ll be able to do this season, as it is his third year of eligibility. If Durant takes the next step, that would do wonders for a Penn State defense which should again rank amongst America’s best.

A quote by Durant: “I learned that I’m able to persevere through anything.” — Durant on his first season at Penn State, via Johnny McGonigal of PennLive.

A quote about Durant: ”I’ve been a big fan of Zane’s really since he arrived on campus. He’s approached it the right way. It’s not easy to play D-tackle as a true freshman and he was able to do that. I thought he had a chance to take a significant step this year and I think he’s doing that.

He’s a smart guy, he’s a consistent guy, he’s a disciplined guy. We talk about being high-production and low-maintenance — he’s that.

I’m proud of him. His parents did a great job raising him, he came from a really good high school program. But we need him to continue making his presence felt out there.” — Coach James Franklin on Zane Durant after his performance at Northwestern last September in which he had three tackles for loss and a sack.

More All 105s

S Lamont Payne

RB Cameron Wallace

RB Quinton Martin 

RB Corey Smith

LB Ta’Mere Robinson 

CB Antoine Belgrave-Shorter

S Vaboue Toure

DE Mylachi Williams 

QB Jack Lambert

WR Josiah Brown

DE Jameial Lyons

TE Joey Schlaffer

QB Ethan Grunkemeyer

CB Elliot Washington

TE Khalil Dinkins

DE Amin Vanover 

LB Tyrece Mills

QB Jaxon Smolik

S DaKarri Nelson

LB Tony Rojas

RB Kaytron Allen

CB Jon Mitchell

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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