Penn State senior DT DaQuan Jones opens season with big game

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Penn State has had a defensive tackle selected in three of the past four drafts, and senior DaQuan Jones seems likely to make it four of five.

Jones (6-feet-3, 318 pounds), who is NFL.com draft analyst Gil Brandt's top-rated senior defensive tackle, had a good start to his senior season this past Saturday, finishing with a team-high nine tackles in a 23-17 win over Syracuse. He added a sack and three tackles for loss.

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Jones finished last season with 22 tackles, a half-sack and two tackles for loss.

"DaQuan Jones had a great game," Nittany Lions coach Bill O'Brien said in his weekly teleconference. "We use the phrase 'next level' when we talk about football, and there is a prime example of a guy that did it. He played very physically in the game and made a lot of really key stops for us - - had a fantastic sack, where he split a double team.

"He's going to be tough to handle this year because he's powerful, he's strong, he's smart and he's worked extremely hard to get to this point."

Jones has the potential for another big game this week when the Nittany Lions play host to Eastern Michigan. Eagles junior center Kent Collins has played in just one game in his career, and senior right guard Orlando McCord never has been a full-time starter.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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