Adam Breneman

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Penn State defensive lineman Garrett Sickels to enter NFL Draft

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Get ready to see another Penn State defensive lineman be picked up by an NFL team in the NFL Draft. Redshirt junior Garrett Sickels has announced he will be entering the NFL Draft this year, thus passing on the final year of eligibility he had with the Nittany Lions.

The All-Big Ten selection is coming off a season with a career high in tackles (47) and sacks (6) and proved to be a dominant force up front off the end of Penn State’s defensive line this season.

“This journey has been an amazing ride from my commitment to Penn State in 2012 to this past Rose Bowl game,” Sickels said in a statement released on Twitter. “I have made friendships and bonds that will last a lifetime. I’m so unbelievably proud to call myself a Penn Stater. I take great pride in knowing me and my fellow classmates of the 2013 recruiting class have left Penn State in a much greater place then when we arrived.”

Sickels was one of the key recruits in Penn State’s Class of 2013 that remained committed to the program immediately after the program was slammed with NCAA sanctions at the time. That same class brought quarterback Christian Hackenberg, wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton, linebacker Brandon Bell and tight end Adam Breneman (who just finished off a stellar season at UMass), among others.

The loss of Sickels means Penn State will replace both starters at defensive end in the fall, although the Nittany Lions have some young options that have been waiting to get in the mix, including four-star addition in the Class of 2016 Shane Simmons, who redshirted this past season.

Biletnikoff, Mackey Award semifinalists announced

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The semifinalists for the Biletnikoff and Mackey Awards, given annually to college football’s best pass-catcher (regardless of position, though only receivers have won it) and tight end, respectfully, were announced Monday morning as awards season (sort of) gears up in earnest.

Your Biletnikoff Award semifinalists:

Austin Carr, Northwestern (75 REC, 1,102 yards, 12 TDs)
Corey Davis, Western Michigan (62 REC, 1,029 yards, 14 TDs)
Amba Etta-Tawo, Syracuse (79 REC, 1,246 yards, 8 TDs)
Carlos Henderson, La. Tech (61 REC, 1,179 yards, 16 TDs*)
Zay Jones, East Carolina (139 REC*, 1,473 yards*, 6 TDs)
John Ross, Washington (52 REC, 896 yards, 15 TDs)
Taywan Taylor, Western Kentucky (77 REC, 1,340 yards, 13 TDs)
Trent Taylor, La. Tech (103 REC, 1,343 yards, 10 TDs)
James Washington, Oklahoma State (56 REC, 1,132 yards, 9 TDs)
Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma (68 REC, 1,254 yards, 14 TDs)

*= leads FBS

And for the Mackey Award:

Adam Breneman, UMass (58 REC, 699 yards, 7 TDs)
Jake Butt, Michigan (38 REC, 460 yards, 4 TDs)
Evan Engram, Ole Miss (59 REC, 824 yards, 7 TDs)
Gerald Everett, South Alabama (41 REC, 637 yards, 4 TDs)
Cole Hikutini, Louisville (38 REC, 526 yards, 6 TDs)
Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech (36 REC, 514 yards, 5 TDs)
O.J. Howard, Alabama (29 REC, 352 yards, 2 TDs)
Jordan Leggett, Clemson (28 REC, 480 yards, 4 TDs)

The Biletnikoff will announce its three finalists Nov. 21, while Mackey Award finalists will be announced Nov. 22. Winners of both the awards will be announcedDec. 8 on ESPNU.

 

Penn State LB transferring to Delaware

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Penn State linebacker Troy Reeder is leaving the program and returning closer to home. The redshirt sophomore will be joining the Delaware Blue Hens, according to a report from Lions 247.

Reeder was Penn State’s fourth-leading tackler in 2015 with 67 tackles. For a defense that at times was in need of quality depth, Reeder tended to step up and make plays with some good signs of potential moving forward. At Delaware, he will join his younger brother, Colby Reeder, who committed to Delaware last week. Reeder’s father, Dan Reeder, also played for Delaware. Because Reeder is transferring to a program at the FCS level, he will be eligible to play right away in the fall for the Blue Hens of the CAA.

Reeder’s sudden departure adds to a growing list of roster amendments for Penn State this offseason. Quarterback Christian Hackenberg declared early for the NFL Draft. So did defensive tackle Austin Johnson. Tight end Adam Breneman was forced to retire due to chronic knee issues. Wide receiver Geno Lewis announced a transfer to Oklahoma. Penn State should be OK at the linebacker position in 2016 with Jason Cabinda, Nyeem Wartman-White and Brandon Bell all expected to be back. Penn State will also have a new defensive coordinator with Brent Pry being promoted to the role following the departure of Bob Shoop to Tennessee.

Penn State will also apparently be down a cornerback on the roster in 2016, according to Bob Flounders of The Patriot News;

Penn State WR Geno Lewis to transfer to Oklahoma

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Penn State wide receiver Geno Lewis will be catching footballs with some other college football team in the fall. Lewis announced his intention to transfer out of Penn State with a statement released on his Twitter account Monday morning. Lewis announced he will transfer to Oklahoma.

“After a long discussion with my family and coaches, I have decided that it would be in my best interest to transfer from Penn State University to pursue my graduate studies and play football with my last year of eligibility,” Lewis said in his statement. “This was not an easy decision but I feel like it is time to move on to the next chapter of my life.”

Because Lewis will be a graduate transfer, he will be eligible to play immediately with any other FBS program in the fall. Lewis was Penn State’s fourth-leading wide receiver in 2015 with 196 yards and three touchdowns. This was just one season after being the team’s second-leading receiver with 751 yards and two touchdowns. As a freshman in 2013, Lewis hauled in 18 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns as well. Lewis saw his production take a back step as young receivers like Chris Godwin, DaeSean Hamilton and Saeed Blacknall emerged for the Nittany Lions. Godwin, a sophomore, was a 1,000-yard receiver this season and Hamilton, also a sophomore, led the team with six touchdown catches. All three leading receivers from 2015 are expected to return for Penn State in 2016.

Lewis was the top-rated recruit in Penn State’s Class of 2012, the first under Bill O’Brien just weeks after being introduced as head coach. Penn State’s Class of 2012 was derailed by the Jerry Sandusky scandal fallout that led to the firing of Joe Paterno. Before Christian Hackenberg and Adam Breneman had a chance to be the leaders and glue of O’Brien’s first full recruiting class, Lewis was seen as the jewel of Penn State’s torched Class of 2012. Lewis was the only four-star recruit in Penn State’s Class of 2012.

UPDATE (12:45 pm): Lewis announced he will be moving to Oklahoma. This is the second time in a few years Penn State lost a transferring wide receiver to Oklahoma. Justin Brown transferred from Penn State to Oklahoma when the NCAA gave a free transfer exemption to Penn State players in 2012 with the sanctions dropped on the program.

Chronic knee injury ends playing career of Penn State TE Adam Breneman

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Thanks to injuries, Adam Breneman was never able to match the recruiting hype on the field.  Now, those very same issues will be pushing the talented tight end to the sidelines permanently.

In a press release Thursday morning, Penn State announced that Breneman will be forced to retire from the sport due to a chronic knee injury.  The junior missed all of the 2014 season because of the injury, and played in just two games this past season.

Breneman graduated in just three years in December with a degree in business management, with the school writing that the former player “will pursue professional opportunities in business or politics this spring.”

“I want to thank Coach [Bill] O’Brien, Coach [James] Franklin, my teammates and the Penn State fans for the great memories over the last three years,” Breneman said in a statement. “I have truly treasured my time as a Nittany Lion and I am confident that the Penn State experience has prepared me for the next phase of my life.”

“I know that it was a difficult for Adam to step away from the game, but he felt it was the right time,” Franklin said. “We are so proud of his work in the classroom, having earned his degree in three years. Adam is a special young man that has left his imprint on not only the Penn State football program, but the Penn State community at large. He has been a difference maker at a very young age and has a bright future ahead of him.”

As a true freshman in 2013, Breneman caught 15 passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns.  Those were the only statistics Breneman would end up recording because of the injury issues.

A four-star member of PSU’s 2013 recruiting class, the 6-4, 243-pound Breneman was rated as the No. 3 tight end in the country.  Aside from quarterback Christian Hackenberg, Breneman was the highest-rated member of that class.  Earlier this month, Hackenberg announced he was leaving early for the NFL.

Prior to signing with the Nittany Lions, Breneman sustained a torn ACL the summer before his senior in high school in 2012.