UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State Football head coach James Franklin announced captains ahead of the 2021 season, including quarterback Sean Clifford and safety Jonathan Sutherland for a record third season.
Joining Clifford and Sutherland are senior safety Jaquan Brisker, senior defensive tackle PJ Musitpher, redshirt senior kicker/punter Jordan Stout, and reshirt junior offensive lineman Rasheed Walker.
Clifford and Sutherland become the first three-time team captains in school history. Stout enters his second season as team captain.
- Has played in 22 career games, making nine starts.
- Earned All-American first team honors from Pro Football Focus in 2020.
- Was an honorable mention All-American by Phil Steele.
- Named an All-Big Ten third team selection by the coaches and honorable mention by the media.
- Garnered Pro Football Focus All-Big Ten first team honors.
- Earned Phil Steele All-Big Ten second team laurels.
- Tallied six pass breakups in 2020, good for a tie for seventh in the Big Ten.
- Seven passes defended were tied for 11th in the league.
- Finished 12th in the Big Ten for solo tackles (33).
- Was 15th in the conference in total tackles (57) and third among defensive backs.
Quarterback, redshirt senior
- Has played in 25 career games, making 20 starts.
- Has 11 career games with two or more passing touchdowns, eight with three or more and two with four or more.
- Owns 11 career games with multi-passing touchdown halves and eight games with multi-passing TD quarters.
- Has thrown for at least 250 passing yards and three passing touchdowns in five career games.
- Has four career touchdown passes of 70 or more yards.
- Has completed 63 career passes of 20 or more yards.
- Is one of 11 Penn State players to reach 5,000 yards of total offense and one of 12 quarterbacks to eclipse 4,000 career passing yards.
- Sits as the current all-time leader at Penn State with a career passing efficiency rating of 146.8.
- Ranks second all-time at Penn State in completion percentage (.600), third in yards per attempt (8.2), fourth in touchdown percentage (7.11), fifth in passing touchdowns (41), 11th in passing yardage (4.732) and completions (346), 12th in attempts (577) and tied for 14th in yards per completion (13.7).
- Is fifth in school history for 300-yard passing games (3) and tied for seventh for 200-yard games (11).
- Among Penn State quarterbacks, is third all-time at PSU with rushing yardage (734) and tied for eighth in rushing touchdowns (8).
- Is seventh all-time in program history in career total yards (5,466) and eighth in touchdowns responsible for (49).
Defensive Tackle, senior
- Named an honorable mention All-Big Ten honoree by the coaches and media in 2020.
- Earned Academic All-Big Ten honors.
- Has appeared in 34 career games, making 10 starts.
- Started all nine games at defensive tackle in 2020, making 35 tackles (12 solo), 1.5 tackles for loss, a sack, two QB hurries and a pass breakup.
- Was named the coaching staff’s Defensive Player of the Week twice in 2020 (Maryland – 11/7; Michigan – 11/28).
- Registered a career-high eight tackles vs. Ohio State (10/31/20).
- Tallied seven tackles, including three solo, at Nebraska (11/14/20).
- Tallied three tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack against Illinois (12/19/20).
Kicker/Punter, redshirt senior
- Has appeared in 22 games for the Nittany Lions.
- Tied for second at Penn State with three field goals of 50 or more yards (50 vs. Ohio State, 2020; 57 vs. Pitt, 2019; 53 vs. Idaho, 2019) with Kevin Kelly (2005-08) and Massimo Manca (1982, 84-86).
- In 2019, Became the first Penn State kicker with multiple 50-yard field goals since Kevin Kelly in 2008 (52 yards vs. Syracuse; 50 yards at Wisconsin).
- Hit a program-record 57-yard field goal in the second quarter against Pittsburgh (9/14/19).
- The 57-yard field goal tied a Beaver Stadium, equaling a 57-yard kick by Ohio’s Gary Homer in 1973.
- The 57-yard field goal vs. Pittsburgh was tied for the 12th-longest in Big Ten history.
- Had 12 touchbacks on kickoffs against Idaho (8/31), the most by a Nittany Lion since the kickoff spot was moved to the 35-yard line in 2011.
- Hit a 53-yard field goal against Idaho, Penn State’s longest since Sam Ficken hit a 54-yarder vs. Kent State in 2013.
Safety, redshirt senior
- Has appeared in 35 career games, making one start.
- Blocked two punts against Idaho (8/31/19), marking the first time Penn State blocked two punts in a game since 2000 vs. Louisiana Tech.
- Two blocked punts in a game is tied for the fourth-most in FBS history.
- Joined Houston’s Keith Corbin (vs. Prairie View A&M) as the only FBS players with two blocked punts in a game (2019).
- Appeared in all nine games in 2020…
- Awarded the No. 0 jersey as special teams leader, beginning new Penn State tradition.
Offensive Lineman, redshirt junior
- Has appeared in 26 career games, making 22 starts, all at left tackle.
- Named third team All-Big Ten by the media and honorable mention All-Big Ten by the coaches in 2020.
- Started all nine games at left tackle.
- Penn State ranked second in the Big Ten in total offense (430.3).
Penn State returns nine starters and 19 letterwinners (10 lost) on offense. Senior wide receiver Jahan Dotson, redshirt junior OL Mike Miranda and Walker all return after having earned second-team All-Big Ten honors a year ago.
The Nittany Lions return seven starters and 19 letterwinners (7 lost) on defense. A total of five All-Big Ten selections are back for 2021 including third team selections in Brisker and redshirt sophomore cornerback Joey Porter Jr., and honorable mention selections in senior cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields, Mustipher and junior linebacker Brandon Smith.
Penn State’s season opener on Sept. 4 at Wisconsin will kick off at noon on FOX. The Nittany Lions will make their return to Beaver Stadium on Sept. 11 vs. Ball State, a 3:30 p.m. ET start on FS1.