Penn State Places 5 Players on 2021 AP All-Big Ten Teams

By Nick Polak on December 7, 2021 at 2:10 pm
Oct 23, 2021; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions safety Jaquan Brisker (1) reacts to a defensive play against the Illinois Fighting Illini during overtime at Beaver Stadium.
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

While the season did not go the way many envisioned in the long run, the 2021 campaign for Penn State still featured a number of standout performances by several players. As a result, five of those players were honored with first or second-team All-Big Ten selections per the Associated Press.

Defensive tackle PJ Mustipher, safety Jaquan Brisker, and punter Jordan Stout were all named to the first team, while receiver Jahan Dotson and defensive end Arnold Ebiketie were both named to the second team.

The fact that PJ Mustipher is seen as one of the top-two defensive ends in the conference despite missing the team's final seven games says it all when it comes to how impactful of a player No. 97 truly is. In his 5 games, Mustipher accumulated 21 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and 1 sack. He has yet to publicly decide whether he will enter the NFL Draft or return to Happy Valley for one more season. It is not currently known where he is with his recovery timeline after the injury that ended his season.

Seeing Jaquan Brisker's name is no surprise, as the safety was one of the best defenders in the conference from day one. The former Lackawanna star seemingly covered the entire field at once in 2021, finishing with 63 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions, 5 passes defended, and 1 fumble recovery. He was hands-down the best player on what was one of the best overall defensive units in the entire country. He has an excellent chance to be a first-round selection in this year's draft.

Fans weren't quite sure what to expect from Jordan Stout as a punter in 2021 after an uneven 2020, but he quickly put those doubts to bed and is now a Ray Guy finalist along with the clear-cut best punter in the conference. Stout's 46.5 yards per punt average was good for second in the conference, his 25 punts of 50+ yards were tied for first, and while his 34 punts inside the 20 are tied for third, his mark of 54.8% of punts downed inside the 20-yard line was easily tops in the conference. He was also third in the Big Ten in fair catches caused, thanks to the incredible hang time he often put under his kicks. Stout almost assuredly has a long NFL career as both a punter and a kickoff specialist ahead of him.

Jahan Dotson was named to the second team despite being second in the conference in receptions (91), third in yards (1,182), second in touchdowns (12), and third in yards per game (98.5). Had quarterback Sean Clifford not gotten hurt and Dotson not had a game and a half's worth of time with an inexperienced backup/very injured signal-caller, he almost assuredly would have led the conference in catches and touchdowns and probably would have challenged for the lead in receiving yards. Alas, it was a very strong year for receivers in the conference (though Chris Olave's first-team selection feels more like a career achievement award, as both of his teammates were more deserving of his spot, along with Dotson).

Arnold Ebiketie was a revelation for Penn State from the moment he stepped on the field. Not many knew what to expect from the Temple transfer, and until Adisa Issac's injury, it wasn't even known whether he would be a full-time starter. However, he proved himself to be one of the fiercest edge rushers in a conference full of superstar edge rushers. Ebiketie led the conference in tackles for loss (18.0), was third in sacks (9.5), and also had 2 fumble recoveries. The stud pass rusher does have the option to return to Happy Valley for one more season if he wants to but is seen as likely to be off to the league where a top-two-round selection is absolutely on the table.

The full selections can be found below.

2021 AP All-Big Ten Teams
Position First Team Second Team
QB CJ Stroud, Ohio State Aidan O'Connell, Purdue
RB Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State TreVeyon Henderson, Ohio State
RB Hassan Haskins, Michigan Braelon Allen, Wisconsin
WR Chris Olave, Ohio State Garrett Wilson, Ohio State
TE Austin Allen, Nebraska Jake Ferguson, Wisconsin
OT Nicholas Petit-Frere, Ohio State Andrew Stueber, Michigan
OT Peter Skoronski, Northwestern Daniel Faalele, Minnesota
OG Thayer Munford, Ohio State Blaise Andries, Minnesota
OG Josh Seltzner, Wisconsin Kyler Schott, Iowa
C Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa Andrew Vastardis, Michigan
All-Purpose Jayden Reed, Michigan State Charlie Jones, Iowa
DE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan ARNOLD EBIKETIE, PENN STATE
DE George Karlaftis, Purdue Zach VanValkenburg, Iowa
DT Haskell Garrett, Ohio State Jacob Slade, Michigan State
DT PJ MUSTIPHER, PENN STATE Keeanu Benton, Wisconsin
LB Leo Chenal, Wisconsin Jack Campbell, Iowa
LB David Ojabo, Michigan Micah McFadden, Indiana
LB Jack Sanborn, Wisconsin JoJo Domann, Nebraska
CB Riley Moss, Iowa Matt Hankins, Iowa
CB Cam Taylor-Britt, Nebraska Denzel Burke, Ohio State
S Kerby Joseph, Illinois Daxton Hill, Michigan
PK Jake Moody, Michigan Caleb Shudak, Iowa


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