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Monday, January 21, 2013
Lions spotlight: Brendan Mahon

By Josh Moyer

Every weekday until signing day, NittanyNation will break down a commitment from Penn State’s 2013 recruiting class.

Vitals: Offensive guard Brendan Mahon, Randolph, N.J./Randolph, 6-foot-5, 300 pounds

Committed: March 17, 2012

ESPN.com grade: 83. Four-star prospect.

ESPN.com rankings: No. 208 in ESPN 300, No. 12 at position, No. 29 in region, No. 8 in state.

Picked Penn State over: Florida, Miami (Fla.), Michigan, West Virginia and others.

State of the position: Miles Dieffenbach and John Urschel return as the starters here, and the interior appears to be the strength of this line. Angelo Mangiro and Ty Howle will battle for the starting center job (or starting guard if Dieffenbach slides over), with the runner-up becoming the top backup.

Pros: "Playing out of a three-point stance, he comes off the ball low and hard with the explosive pop and surge needed to knock defenders off the ball. He gets an immediate advantage with his initial quickness, can roll the hips and with his strong hands, blocking base and leg drive is able to sustain blocks. He is an efficient trap-blocker who gets out of his stance and shows the ability to locate defenders on the move." -- ESPN scouting report

Cons: "Mahon does play defensive tackle and does a good job at the position as he can hold the point of attack and gets off blocks showing lateral ability. However, we don't see the explosive quickness and quick twitch for the position." -- ESPN scouting report

Similar to/potential role: He has the ability to play right away, but because Penn State has good depth here, he'll likely redshirt unless there's an injury. He's kind of in a similar position to DT Austin Johnson, who arrived at Penn State to lofty praise but at a position that wasn't in dire need of a another body. Johnson traveled with the team, didn't play, but was basically a third-string player in 2012. Mahon will likely be the same his first season.

Expected impact: 2014. Even if he doesn't start, he'll likely be in line to see a lot of playing time. OL coach Mac McWhorter likes to utilize a lot of linemen, and Mahon in 2014 could play a similar role as Mangiro did in 2012.