Nittany Lions Land Three-Star Defensive Tackle Antonio Shelton
Penn State’s streak of bad luck with defensive tackles ended this week when three-star Antonio Shelton (Westerville, OH) committed to James Franklin and defensive line coach Sean Spencer on Sunday. The Ohio product chose the Nittany Lions over Big Ten foes Illinois and Rutgers, and out-of-conference opponents like Cincinnati and Iowa State.
Shelton has good size at 6-foot-2, 275 pounds. He’ll need to continue to add weight and strength to his frame, but the 270-pound area is a good place to start and something the strength and conditioning staff will be able to work with. He gets off the ball quickly and displays a solid pad level, not allowing the offensive line to gain much leverage. His hand placement will need continued improvement, as he struggles to get off blocks when the offensive lineman is able to engage.
After accepting commitments from four defensive tackles — Christian Colon, Ellison Jordan, Michael Dwumfour, and Karamo Dioubate — Penn State was down to just Jordan after the three others decommitted from the program for one reason or another. With the Nittany Lions losing Austin Johnson to the NFL and Anthony Zettel and Tarow Barney to graduation, the need for bodies at defensive tackle was an absolute must. It’s not very often that a freshman tackle can come in and play immediately, but with Penn State’s lack of experienced depth, players like Jordan and now Shelton will be expected to at least compete for reserve roles.
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