Penn State adds a much-needed piece to its loaded defensive line class in 2025

Tom Allen and Deion Barnes have constructed one of the best edge rusher classes in the country in 2025, but Penn State desperately needed to add to the interior before the commitment of Randy Adirika.
Penn State Nittany Lions defensive coordinator Tom Allen
Penn State Nittany Lions defensive coordinator Tom Allen / Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, Penn State picked up its 22nd commitment in the 2025 class, landing Randy Adirika a three-star defensive lineman from Miami Central in Florida. Adirika joins his teammate, quarterback Bekkem Kritza as future Nittany Lions. 

Deion Barnes has been masterful this offseason, landing one of the most stacked defensive line classes in the country. The group is dominated by edge rushers Jayden Woods, Max Granville, and Cortez Harris, but with Adirika’s commitment, Penn State finally added a much-needed interior piece. 

At 6-foot-3 and 275 pounds, Adirika could stay and his size to be a run-stuffing defensive end, but Penn State prefers to play lighter edge rushers at that spot, so Adirika will likely beef up to play on the interior. He posted 11 sacks in 2023 almost exclusively rushing from the inside and even with his overwhelming size for the high school game, he often wins with speed and quick hands. 

Adirika, if he continues to develop under Barnes at the next level, profiles as a disruptor on the inside and Penn State hasn’t had many of those lately. 

In 2023, the Nittany Lions were first in sacks per game under Manny Diaz at 3.8. However, interior defensive linemen Coziah Izzard, Zane Durant, and Hakeem Beamon only accounted for six of the 50 total sacks that unit racked up.

Edge rushing talent will continue to be the priority under new defensive coordinator Tom Allen, but after only adding two three-star interior defensive linemen in the 2024 class, it was paramount for Allen and Barnes to land a talented player at that position this summer. 

Adirika won’t be one of the headliners of the 2025 recruiting class, but his addition will certainly let the defensive coaching staff breathe a whole lot easier knowing they won’t have to desperately dive into the transfer portal next offseason to rectify a lack of depth in the trenches.