First Jaquan Brisker said he was going to participate in the Senior Bowl and head to the NFL Draft, but then he changed his mind and says now he’s headed back to Happy Valley for a final season with the Penn State Nittany Lions. 

That’s good news for PSU because Brisker is the team’s starting safety and one of its top defensive players. Brisker was Third-Team All-Big Ten in 2020 and a First-Team All-American the Pro Football Focus team.

Brisker broke up six passes and intercepted one over nine games this year, leading the team in both categories. He also made 57 tackles to finish third on the team, including three tackles for loss.

It wasn’t his professional draft stock or outside considerations that got Brisker back for a final season. It was a talk he had with his father, according to a tweet Brisker posted announcing his return.

“Had a good talk with pops,” Brisker wrote.

“You’ll go out like a coward if you end it,” his father said, according to the Tweet. “You came too far, you can’t look back, you got to finish!”  

Brisker’s father seemed to be referring to the Nittany Lions 0-5 start in 2020, the worst opening to a season in school history, before the squad rallied to win its last four games and finish 4-5 with some momentum headed into next year.

Brisker’s return is welcome news for the beleaguered Penn State defense. Over two seasons, and only one as a starter, the Pittsburgh, PA native has made 89 tackles, four of them for loss, and broke up 12 passes to go with three interceptions. 

If the Nittany Lions are going to exercise the demons of 2020, Brisker is a good player to help them do it.