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Penn State Football

Veteran Penn State Defender Out Indefinitely with Injury

Penn State LB Zuriah Fisher
Photo by Matt Lynch, Nittany Sports Now

It sounds like the Penn State defense will be without one of its veterans for a while.

Zuriah Fisher, a defensive end from Aliquippa High School in the Pittsburgh area, is out indefinitely with a knee injury, a source confirmed to Nittany Sports Now. Fisher suffered the injury back in April while the team was conducting its spring practices. Blue-White Illustrated first reported Fisher’s injury late Thursday morning.

This is a blow to Fisher, first and foremost.

The 6-foot-3, 254-pounder missed most of the 2022 season with an injury — also suffered in spring practice — and didn’t make his season debut until Nov. 12 against Maryland at Beaver Stadium. Even when Fisher’s been healthy, nothing has come easy for him. Last season, Fisher was competing in a position group that was probably Penn State’s strongest and deepest on either side of the ball. The starting defensive ends were Chop Robinson and Adisa Isaac, who each ended up being selected in the NFL draft this past spring. Penn State also had Dani Dennis-Sutton, a former five-star who continued to progress as a second-year player in 2023, and Amin Vanover, who, like Fisher, was a fourth year player looking to make the most of his opportunities.

Fisher impressed during his opportunities last season.

He played in all 13 games, ending the season with 17 tackles (11 solo), a fumble recovery, 3.5 sacks and a quarterback hurry. Pro Football Focus gave him a solid pass-rush grade of 71.9.

Depending on how long Fisher is out for, this could be a blow to Penn State’s depth at defensive end. Had Penn State kept Abdul Carter at linebacker, Fisher would likely be competing with Vanover to start opposite Dennis-Sutton. Even with Carter being the likely starter, Fisher and Vanover were slated to each see a solid amount of playing time, especially if new defensive coordinator Tom Allen uses three-DE sets the way his predecessor, Manny Diaz, did.

If Fisher’s injury causes him to miss time in the regular season, that could well mean that promising second-year player Jameial Lyons will get more early playing time than initially expected.

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