Player Spotlight: Jonathan Sutherland

Audio/Story posted November 15, 2019 in CommRadio, Sports by Josh Portney

The Penn State defense is one of the strongest in the country because of players like Jonathan Sutherland.

Originally from Ottawa, Ontario, Sutherland can point to many impressive accomplishments in his young collegiate career. With 59 career tackles so far in only his second official season, he’s well on his way to many Penn State records. He also tied the FBS record for most blocked punts in a single game with two against Idaho.

His value to the team has helped Penn State time and time again. He’s an asset in the locker room and an asset on the field. So naturally, when there was a controversial letter sent to him, his teammates immediately came to his defense.

Earlier this year, Sutherland received a letter that criticized him for his dreadlock hairstyle, but  coach James Franklin and the entire Nittany Lions team reiterated their love and support for Sutherland. He still reflects on that experience and appreciates all who came to his aid.

“It was great receiving all the support,” Sutherland said. “It was great knowing that I had a whole lot of support.”

His leadership in the locker room and on the secondary makes him an invaluable part of the Penn State football team.

Sutherland hopes to help his team bounce back this weekend, as the Nittany Lions host the Indiana Hoosiers. He wears the number of former Penn State legend Saquon Barkley, so watch out for No. 26, as he’s sure to make an impact.


Josh Portney is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email