Penn State welcomed their four newest members of the Nittany Lion football program this week as they enrolled early for the Spring semester. Today, we highlight Brelin Faison-Walden
|High School (City)||Grimsley (Greensboro, NC)|
|Composite Rating||★★★ (0.8721)|
|Position Rank||No. 28 (OLB)|
|National Rank||No. 453|
|Commitment Date||July 20, 2016|
The most interesting thing about Brelin Faison-Walden is trying to figure out where he's going to play in college. Odds are he's a linebacker, but he could also line up at safety.
What is not interesting is how he'll do once he sticks at a position. We already know the answer: he's going to be really, really good.
Faison-Walden mixes the instincts and speed of a safety with a linebacker's ability to diagnose plays and tackle a ballcarrier. He comes to Penn State as the prototypical outside linebacker in today's college football – a speedy, instinctive player who is capable of playing in the box and making plays from sideline to sideline.
James Franklin picked up a commitment from Faison-Walden back in July. The North Carolina native was offered in February, took an unofficial to Happy Valley on July 15, and five days later, announced that he was going to spend the next four years in the blue and white. As you can see by his 247Sports prediction graph, it was believed for the longest time that he would wear a different blue and white for four years, as North Carolina was viewed to be the favorite to land the three-star prospect.
For a short period of time, it looked like Michigan put in the necessary work to possibly flip Faison-Walden. He took four official visits – Michigan, Georgia, Penn State, and Virginia Tech – but ultimately, Faison-Walden decided he wanted to stick to his commitment.
This is a great thing for the Nittany Lions, as is getting him on campus as an early enrollee. Two of the team's three linebacker spots are about as close to locks as you can imagine between Jason Cabinda and Manny Bowen, but there is playing time to be had as the team's third linebacker. It's an uphill battle, and this is 100 percent speculation, but if he impresses in spring ball perhaps the true freshman could earn playing time as the squad's "Will" linebacker.
At the very least, Faison-Walden will provide the Nittany Lions with versatility at the linebacker position somewhere down the line.