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Penn State Football Announces 2023 Team Captains

Two more weeks.

Penn State football has named its captains for the 2023 season, it announced Saturday. Keaton Ellis, Dominic DeLuca, Olu Fashanu, Malick Meiga, Adisa Isaac, and Theo Johnson were selected to lead the Nittany Lions.

Ellis, a State College native, is entering his fifth and final season with Penn State. The safety was named a captain during spring practice after a 2022 season where he started in all 13 games, making 24 total tackles and recording seven pass breakups. A State College native, Ellis earned playing time in his previous four seasons with the Nittany Lions.

DeLuca, a redshirt sophomore, was also named a team captain in the spring. He joined Penn State as a run-on in 2021 before earning a scholarship at the conclusion of the 2022 season. That year, he appeared in all 13 games, spending time on special teams and defense. The linebacker recorded 29 total tackles and a sack in 2022.

Meiga was named captain ahead of his fourth season at Penn State. The wide receiver has appeared in 19 games over his career but never started in a game. Hailing from Quebec, Canada, Meiga is not expected to start in his junior season for the Nittany Lions, after totaling six catches over his two seasons of playing time in college.

Fashanu enters what is expected to be his final season at Penn State. Many expected Fashanu to enter the NFL Draft after the 2022 season, but the offensive lineman opted to stay in Happy Valley for at least one more season. Fashanu is currently expected to be a top draft selection after the 2023 season.

Isaac, like Ellis, is entering his fifth and final season in Happy Valley. He was a key component of the Nittany Lions’ defense in 2022, starting all 13 games at defensive end. In 31 appearances for Penn State, Isaac has started in 24 games and recorded 55 total tackles and seven sacks.

Johnson, a tight end, is the other Canadian to be named a captain. He has started in 16 games in his career and made 16 starts, but has often sat behind other tight ends as he’s fought for a starting role. Johnson is expected to compete with fellow tight end Tyler Warren for reps this season. Johnson was notably sentenced to Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition in June for his role in an assault at an off-campus fraternity.

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About the Author

Joe Lister

Joe is a junior journalism major at Penn State and an associate editor at Onward State. He covers Penn State football, and enjoys yelling on Twitter about Philadelphia/Penn State sports. If you want to find him, Joe's usually watching soccer with his shirt off or at the gym with his shirt on. Please send all positive affirmations and/or hate mail toward him on Twitter (iamjoelister) or via email ([email protected]).

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