Luketa’s versatility impresses teammates, set to play DE and LB against Ball State

Nittany Nation

STATE COLLEGE, PA – DECEMBER 12: Jesse Luketa #40 of the Penn State Nittany Lions in action against the Michigan State Spartans during the second half at Beaver Stadium on December 12, 2020 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) – An impressive 16-10 win on Saturday at Wisconsin was an impressive defensive performance, spotlighted a few impressive players, including Swiss-Army knife, Jesse Luketa.

We knew heading into the season that senior Linebacker Jesse Luketa would be utilized in a few different ways. Some packages, he would be a linebacker, he would be a defensive end in others. This versatility is a trait that impresses his teammates.

“I’m most amazed to see some of the things that he can do,” said Arnold Ebiketie, a redshirt senior defensive end. “Going from lining up at defensive end to the next series lining up at linebacker. And we all know how hard the linebacker position can be with knowing all the adjustments and knowing all the calls that well and do all those things. I’m still amazed. And I still don’t know how he does all those things. I’m just glad he’s on my team, honestly.”

Luketa lined up primarily at defensive end against Wisconsin, but moved back to linebacker after Ellis Brooks was ejected for targeting. The Canadian finished the game with five tackles and a QB hurry.

“I texted him, I’m like, ‘man, you played a crazy game,'” said Jaquan Brisker, a senior safety. “Especially at that D-end position, just making quick moves, getting in the backfield, him just jumping all over the field, showing his vertical, things like that. He shown that he’s gonna be a force in position. Just him going from defensive end to mic and still not losing a step that just shows that he’s just a football player.”

Because Brooks’s ejection came in the second half at Wisconsin, he will be out for the first half of the Ball State game, likely meaning Luketa will spend the first half focused at linebacker, where he has spent much of his career so far.

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