On Monday, four-star defensive tackle PJ Mustipher became the 22nd member of Penn State's 2018 recruiting class, and the 14th blue-chip prospect (four or five stars) to join the fold. Even with that simple surface-level look at things, it's easy to see that this is a big deal for James Franklin and his staff. Upon digging deeper into who Mustipher is on the field, though, it becomes apparent that the next great defensive lineman in Happy Valley may have just committed.
Upon committing, Bill compared him to the likes of former Penn State stud Austin Johnson. That's a pretty fair comparison when considering what Mustipher will likely be asked to do amongst the wild dogs. Though he's made a living in high school off of sacking quarterbacks (just check his Twitter bio), that likely won't be his primary role in State College.
Already standing at nearly 300 pounds, and likely a little more to go with his 6'4.5 frame, Mustipher profiles well to eventually fill the 1-tech role along the line. Not only will he have the size and power to occupy multiple blockers, but his vision is second to none. He does a fantastic job of keeping his eyes up and finding his way to the ball carrier, despite the number of linemen draped over him.
When he is given free reign to go after the quarterback, his violent and smooth hands along with an explosive first step always give him a chance to end up in the backfield. Again, that likely will not be his primary role at Penn State, but that doesn't mean opportunities to get after the quarterback won't arise.
Similar to Johnson, Mustipher's calling card looks like it will be his ability to blow up plays at the line of scrimmage, while also freeing up his teammates to attack the passer. But just like Johnson, don't be surprised to see him make a cameo as sack artist here and there.
The four-star prospect could find himself on the field immediately in 2018 thanks to some key pieces set to graduate or move on after 2017.