Jaquan Brisker knows how much potential Penn State has entering the 2021 season. And the way the pandemic-shortened year went in 2020 left a bad taste in the mouth of the Nittany Lions’ safety.

That’s why he’s coming back.

Speaking with reporters on Monday morning, Brisker explained his decision to return to Penn State for the upcoming season rather than declare for the 2021 NFL Draft. His reason was pretty simple.


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“We were 0-5 and I couldn’t leave on that note,” Brisker said, per Audrey Snyder of The Athletic. “I knew what type of team we were going to have when I came back.”

Penn State was expected to compete for a B1G title last season and potentially a spot in the College Football Playoff. But the season got derailed quickly after a controversial season-opening loss to Indiana in Bloomington and another loss to Ohio State the following weekend.

Just two weeks into the season, the Nittany Lions’ hopes of a magical season had essentially been crushed after the 0-2 start. James Franklin’s crew dropped three more games and endured the worst start in program history before righting the ship and ending the season with a 4-5 record.

But it’s far from where Penn State wanted to be.

With a plethora of talent returning and some incoming playmakers with the 2021 class, Penn State has the opportunity to re-establish itself as an elite-level program in the B1G — one that can compete with Ohio State.

That’s why Brisker came back, and he’s expecting to see major improvement from the previous season.