Chicago Bears safety Jaquan Brisker take consequences of his..

Chicago Bears security Jaquan Brisker discusses the Penn State rivalry, the Packers, and more.

We’ll be catching up with former Penn State standouts for a weekly interview series throughout the coming months. We’ve had conversations with safety Ji’Ayir Brown of the San Francisco 49ers and quarterback Sean Clifford of the Green Bay Packers during the past two weeks.

This week? Jaquan Brisker of the Chicago Bears is catching up with us.
Brisker transferred from Lackawanna College and started for Penn State for two seasons in 2020 and 2021. The Pittsburgh native was named to the first team of the Big Ten, an All-American, and the captain of the squad in 2021.

Brisker was selected No. 48 overall in the second round of the 2022 NFL draft by the Bears, tying Les Walters (Baltimore Colts, 1954) as Penn State’s highest-drafted defensive back. Joey Porter Jr. surpassed that mark in 2023, going No. 32 overall to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Brisker has started all 30 games he’s appeared in with the Bears. The Pro Football Focus 2022 All-Rookie team honoree accumulated 209 tackles in his first two seasons with Chicago. We chatted with Brisker about Penn State, the Bears-Packers rivalry and much more.

When I interviewed Ji’Ayir, he wanted to make sure I talked to you, so I’m glad this worked out. I know you guys are close from your time at Lackawanna to Penn State. What was it like watching him as a rookie and pick off Patrick Mahomes in the Super Bowl?

For me, it meant everything. As recent graduates of junior college, we can look back on our path and see how, despite both good and terrible experiences, we overcame our circumstances. It means a great deal to watch him reach his goals of starting and winning a Super Bowl. And it’s enormous to make a play like that in a game like that. My brother is that, and I’m thrilled for him.

Like Ji’Ayir, I know Terry Smith was really important to you, too. What kind of relationship do you still have? And what does Terry bring to Penn State that’s different?

“I can call Coach Terry, and he’ll give it to me straight. He’ll tell me the rights and wrongs, and that’s what I need. He’s going to give me wisdom every time. That’s something I appreciate from Coach Terry. He always gave me different ideas and would always help me move forward not just as a football player but as a person. He gave me those steps on how to be a better adult. I always used to sit down in his office and talk. I’ll still call him just so I can hear him. He’s going to say something I really need.

“What he brings to Penn State, it’s that leadership that you need. That’s one of the coaches who’s going to keep it real, 100% real. And he’s always going to help you be a better person, a better player. He has so much knowledge of the game. He’s a great recruiter, but he always tells the truth. With that, you can never go wrong. He’s a huge asset to Penn State.”

You’re entering Year Three in the NFL. What have the last two seasons been like for you?

“It’s been good. It’s been crazy living out my dream. But I feel like I can be even better. This year should be the best version of Jaquan Brisker that anyone’s ever seen. The first two years went smoothly. But I think this year is a turning point. The time is now.”

You guys are going to be on Hard Knocks. Are you hoping to get a featured spot on that?

“I would say I’m excited. It’s a new time and a good time for Bears fans. But at the same time, they’re kinda giving away our secrets (laughs). They’re giving away our little secrets. But I’m excited to see what type of team this is and what type of players and people we have in the building. So I’m excited for them to see how we roll around here.”

Last one for you. I’ve seen your Twitter. You trolled the Packers after their playoff loss, and you don’t seem shy about getting into it a little bit with fans. Have you really bought into that rivalry since being in Chicago?

“Definitely bought in. The fans don’t like Green Bay. I don’t like Green Bay. I’m embracing the rivalry. I feel like we have to make the rivalry games more like they were back in the day. I think guys got a little soft on the rivalries. You shouldn’t like the other team. That’s how guys like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, when they would come up to Pittsburgh, they hated those boys. That’s how I grew up watching football, so that’s how I’m gonna keep it. I don’t like those guys, and I’m gonna let it be known.”


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