When Arnold Ebiketie, the 6-foot-3-inch, 250 pound transfer from Temple walked onto campus, you didn’t quite know what to expect from the Cameroon native.
That quickly changed.
Ebekitie’s two-sack game against Michigan, a team that allowed a conference-best 14 sacks all season, is a perfect example of how disruptive the defensive end was this year.
For the season, he recorded 9.5 sacks and 62 tackles, both numbers were more than his three-year totals with the Owls.
“Arnold Ebekitie is a guy we haven’t talked about and he may have the best tools of any Penn State pass rusher who’s coming out in the last five years or so,” said Thomas Frank Carr, film analyst for On3’s Blue White Illustrated.
“As far as his technical ability, his ability to use his hand, shed blocks and bend, and I understand he’s just 250 [lbs] and he’s not as big or physical and violent as some of these guys who will go in the first round. But his skills will translate to the NFL in a big way.”
Get the latest local news, weather, and community events. Sign up for the WTAJ Newsletter.
It was an elite season for big ten pass rushers. CBS Sport says 5 of the top 7 edge rushers in this class come from the conference: Michigan’s Aiden Hutchinson and David Ojabo, Michigan State’s Jacub Panasiuk, Purdue’s George Karlaftis and Ebekitie.
“If you remember Dwight Freeny and Robert Mathis, and those sort of Indianapolis Colts teams, and I think he’d be good in that sort of situation that values pass rushers and getting to the quarterback, and that’s not to say he’s a bad run defender, but his skill is very much in the pass rush and that is a high commodity in the NFL.”
While AK’s time in state college was short-lived, it wasn’t taken for granted. It might be safe to say that he loved Happy Valley as much as Happy Valley loved him.
“When you look at the videos of the white out game, it’s pretty crazy. But when you come out here for the first time and I stepped out onto the field and see all those people I thought wow, it don’t get better than this,” he said in September following Penn State White Out win over Auburn. “People say it’s the best scene in college football and it definitely is.”