DE transfer Arnold Ebiketie discusses Penn State commitment
Arnold Ebiketie's choice of transfer destination came down to comfort.
With interest in him from programs like Texas and Boston College, the former Temple defensive end found that comfort with Penn State, thanks to the scheme the Nittany Lions run and his relationship with the Penn State coaching staff.
"As far as the process, the biggest thing for me was to pick a place that has opportunity as well as a place that fits what I do best," Ebiketie said Thursday.
"Just going through the process, talking to [Penn State's coaches] and figuring out what they're all about defensively, and also talking to some of the players, I got nothing but great feedback about those guys. I'm just glad I'm going to get the opportunity to get coached by those guys and improve my game. I'm looking forward to it."
Ebiketie, who confirmed Thursday that he plans to enroll at Penn State in January, was named second-team all AAC this season after proving to be a real pass-rushing threat.
Despite playing in just six games, he racked up four sacks, hurried the quarterback 14 times, and notched 22 total pressures, according to Pro Football Focus, which rated him as the fifth-best edge rusher in the conference.
"I would say I'm a good pass rusher," Ebiketie said. "I play with a lot of intensity. I'm a high-energy guy. I'm the type of person who's going to come in and work. One of my mantras is, no matter what happens, as long as I gave 100 percent I'm going to live with the result."
Ebiketie is Penn State's second transfer portal addition along the defensive front this week, following former Duke defensive tackle Derrick Tangelo. Those additions followed the news that defensive ends Shaka Toney and Jayson Oweh would pursue professional careers, and that defensive tackle Antonio Shelton would seek a transfer.
Asked if he had discussed his role next season with Penn State's coaching staff, Ebiketie said he intends to earn whatever playing time comes his way.
"We had a conversation," Ebiketie said. "I believe everything is earned, and rightfully so. You have to come in and prove yourself and earn everything that's given to you."
Having burst onto the scene this season after playing as a rotation defensive end for the Owls in 2019, Ebitekie said he feels he can build off what he did this year.
"I feel like by having a great season this year, I feel like I have so much more, so much development," he said. "Next year, I just want to be the best version of myself. Hopefully COVID is not in the way. I want to have the opportunity to showcase my ability and my skillset and obviously improve my draft stock as I transition to the next level."