With just one total start among all the safeties on the roster, there's no denying that it is Penn State's most inexperienced position. One bright spot from that fact, it gives plenty of young guys the chance to show they can play early. Jonathan Sutherland is one of the safeties looking to prove they're ready.
Originally from Ottawa, Sutherland rose up the Virginia high school football ranks, getting as high as the No. 11 prospect in the Commonwealth. He's currently one of two players on the roster from Canada, the other being freshman linebacker Jesse Luketa.
The Sutherland File
- Class: RS Freshman
- Size: 5'11/198
- Pos: S
- School: Episcopal (Va.)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★
- Composite Rank: No. 23 S
Sutherland committed to Penn State about a week after the 2016 Lasch Bash and signed with the Nittany Lions the following February. With Troy Apke and Marcus Allen having the starting jobs locked up, he took a redshirt and set his sights on contributing in 2018 and beyond.
Sutherland's time on the practice squad did not go unnoticed by his teammates, notably Marcus Allen.
"He hits like a train. He's really physical and that's what I love about him," Allen said back in February.
Allen made his living playing a physical brand of football, so it should be fun to see how similar Sutherland is to the Steelers' fifth-round pick.
Nick Scott will likely get the start at one of the safety positions, with redshirt junior Garrett Taylor penciled in at the other spot. That leaves Sutherland in a battle with Ayron Monroe, Lamont Wade, John Pertishen and early enrollee Isaiah Humphries for a spot in the rotation. Regardless, his hard-hitting mentality and athleticism will certainly get him some time on special teams.