A pair of Penn State commits earned honors at the junior college level this week. Defensive back Jaquan Brisker and offensive lineman Anthony Whigan, teammates at Lackawanna (Scranton, Pa.) College, were recognized as All-Northeast Football Conference selections.
The sophomores, set to enroll at Penn State in 2019, were both first-team picks. Brisker, a two-time all-conference first team selection, was also named Defensive Player of the Year.
Brisker, who verbally committed to the Nittany Lions on May 18, finished his final JUCO campaign in strong fashion. He earned recognition from the National Junior College Athletic Association as Defensive Player of the Week last Wednesday.
The 6-foot-1, 197-pound safety secured seven tackles — three for loss — two sacks and one forced fumble Nov. 11 in a 30-15 win over Georgia Military College. Through 10 games, Brisker leads Lackawanna with 57 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and eight sacks, according to the team website.
Lackawanna completed its regular season with a 10-0 record. The Falcons, listed sixth in NJCAA rankings, will complete the 2018 season Dec. 1 with an El Toro Bowl (Yuma, Ariz.) matchup vs. Arizona Western.
Brisker, considered the No. 3 safety and No. 26 overall talent in 247Sports 2019 composite junior college rankings, chose Penn State from a collection of Power Five football scholarship offers. His collegiate options included Alabama, Mississippi State, Pitt and West Virginia.
“It’s amazing,” he told 247Sports’ Brian Dohn after going public with his decision. “I finally made my choice so everything feels good. I worked so hard to get to this point so everything feels so good.”
Brisker attended Gateway (Monroeville, Pa.) High School, and has a strong relationship with assistant coach and defensive recruiting coordinator Terry Smith — a former Gateway coach and player.
“It means a lot,” he said. “Coach Terry knows everything about me. He knows my family. He coached my brothers in high school for eight years, so he knows everything. I feel comfortable with him being my coach. I feel comfortable with Coach (James) Franklin and the rest of the staff.”
Whigan, the No. 3 JUCO offensive tackle in composite rankings, joined Brisker in the Nittany Lions’ recruiting class in August. A graduate of Great Mills (Md.) High School, the 6-5, 290-pound prospect compiled a list of Power Five offers that included Louisville, Nebraska, Ole Miss and South Carolina.
“They were telling me that I’m the missing piece to the puzzle and that I could truly benefit coming to State College,” Whigan told Dohn while discussing Penn State in August. “Also that they believe they could take my game to a different height.”
He was a second-team all-conference selection in 2017.
Brisker and Whigan are members of a 17-player Nittany Lions class, which ranks 13th nationally and third among Big Ten teams in 247Sports 2019 composite rankings.