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Penn State Football All 105

Penn State All 105: Intensity, Athleticism Make Jameial Lyons Promising

Sophomore defensive end Jameial Lyons with a pass rush effort against second year J'ven Williams.

It’s not easy for a Penn State defensive end to stand out these days but Jameial Lyons found a way to do it as a true freshman last season.

Lyons didn’t do it by lighting up the stat sheet but rather by how he performed on the practice field, when the fans weren’t watching.

With Chop Robinson and Adisa Isaac now in the NFL, Penn State needs defensive ends to step up, and Lyons is a solid candidate to do just that.

The Philly product is a big time breakout candidate for 2024, and he’s the masters subject of All 105, a Nittany Sports Now series profiling each Penn State football player.

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 252 pounds

Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

Before Penn State: Lyons came to Penn State after a standout career at Philadelphia’s Roman Catholic High School. As a senior, Lyons finished with 64 tackles and six sacks, helping his team to a 9-3 record. Lyons also played at Bishop McDevitt High School in PA, helping the squad to a Catholic league championship as a freshman. After his sophomore year, Bishop McDevitt closed. Lyons was a four-star prospect, committing to Penn State in April 2022 over Boston College, Cincinnati, Nebraska and West Virginia, among others.

Last year: Most freshmen redshirt their first season. Lyons didn’t do that. He appeared in eight of Penn State’s 13 games, ending the season with six tackles (two solo), a sack, 2.5 tackles for loss and a quarterback hurray. The sack took place against Delaware in Week 2, and it didn’t look pleasant for the QB.

Where he stands: Even with Robinson and Isaac gone, Penn State should still be loaded enough at defensive end to make it challenging for Lyons to get a ton of playing time. Dani Dennis-Sutton is back from last season and expected to start, as is Abdul Carter, a first-team all-conference linebacker who Penn State moved to DE over the winter. Penn State also has veterans Amin Vanover and Zuriah Fisher on the depth chart. But if Lyons can be a better version of what he was as a true freshman, there’s no reason he can’t continue to progress.

A quote by Lyons: “There’s more to show. “I’m waiting to show everyone who Jameial Lyons is.” — Lyons to reporters at Penn State’s second-year player media availability in February, via Johnny McGonigal of PennLive.

A quote about Lyons: “I think he’s a first-round pick. I just see those types of plays and those high-motor, high-effort plays, and I think that’s what’s going to take him. He just has to keep pushing and keep doing it consistently. Once he adds the technique to his game along with his speed and athleticism, I think he’ll be one of the best in the country.” — Former Penn State LB Curtis Jacobs to reporters days before last year’s Peach Bowl against Ole Miss.

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