Penn State football projected depth chart: Defense, special teams

penn state football depth chart

We already took a look at the offensive side of the ball, but here are the projected depth charts for the Penn State football defense and special teams in 2020.


Defensive End

  1. Jayson Oweh
  2. Adisa Isaac

Defensive Tackle

  1. PJ Mustipher
  2. Damion Barber

Defensive Tackle

  1. Antonio Shelton
  2. Fred Hansard
  3. Judge Culpepper

Defensive End

  1. Shaka Toney
  2. Shane Simmons
  3. Smith Vilbert

Notes: Losing Yetur Gross-Matos is a big loss to the D-Line, but there is still plenty of experience and young potential looking to fill the void. Shaka Toney and Antonio Shelton are both fifth-year seniors looking to improve their draft stock in one final season in Happy Valley. Jayson Oweh is a freak of nature who I expect to have a breakout year at the defensive end position. This group will set the tone for the rest of the defense behind them. Stop the run and they’re tough to beat.

Will LB

  1. Jesse Luketa
  2. Curtis Jacobs

Mike LB

  1. Ellis Brooks
  2. Jesse Luketa

Sam LB

  1. Brandon Smith
  2. Lance Dixon

Notes: If you’re reading this, Micah Parsons, please come back. Unfortunately that’s the biggest news for the linebacker group coming out of this offseason. Parsons decided to opt out of the season to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft. COVID robbed us from what I expected to be the most dominant season from a defensive player in a very long time. But it’s not the end of the world. This group of linebackers is still loaded with talent and now we’re going to see who has been hiding in Parson’s shadow. Ellis Brooks is the veteran of the group who will led the defense in the middle linebacker spot. Brandon Smith is a former five-star recruit who will prove this season why he was ranked so high coming out of high school. And Luketa is a guy I’m excited for. He’s big and athletic and will finally get to show what he’s all about in his junior season.


  1. Tariq Castro-Fields
  2. Marquis Wilson
  3. Daequan Hardy


  1. Keaton Ellis
  2. Joey Porter Jr.

Free Safety

  1. Jaquon Brisker
  2. Jonathan Sutherland

Strong Safety

  1. Lamont Wade
  2. Tyler Rudolph

Notes: With three out of the four expected starters in the secondary being seniors, this is a very experienced unit on the field. Penn State struggled with defending the passing game in recent years, but things are looking up. Keaton Ellis and Marquis Wilson impressed as true freshmen, and should both see a lot of time this year. Lamont Wade is a physical safety who loves to come down and hit. This will be a much improved group from a year ago.



  1. Jordan Stout

Kicker (Kickoffs)

  1. Jordan Stout

Kicker (Field Goals/PAT’s)

  1. Jake Pinegar
  2. Jordan Stout

Notes: Pinegar is accurate and consistent and Stout has a cannon for a leg. The kicking game is huge in college, and these guys can be the difference makers in some games. It’s nice to have faith when your kicker jogs onto the field.