Adam Breneman

AP Photo/John Beale

Former UMass, Penn State TE Adam Breneman retires from football

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Former All-American tight end Adam Breneman has announced he will be retiring from football for good. Citing prolonged health concerns that stem back to his time at Penn State, Breneman wrote in a blog post the extent of the injury he suffered in 2014 was even more challenging to come back from than many had publicly known.

This is the second time Breneman has made the decision to retire, and this one will likely stick. Breneman retired briefly from the game in 2016, after his injury concerns at Penn State proved to be too risky to continue playing. Breneman had significant damage in his left knee that the All-American says required “complicated surgery and a long recovery process.” Doctors suggested his playing days would be over, but Breneman felt his knees became good enough to give a shot at playing in the NFL one more chance, which led him to revive his playing career at UMass. However, it was during his time at UMass when reality resurfaced for Breneman.

This past season things began to deteriorate quickly. Even though I enjoyed on-field success, I knew my knee was getting rapidly worse with every game I played. The consistent dream of playing in the NFL was my motivation to push through the pain. I knew what was happening, but I was afraid to accept it and be disappointed yet again.

When the season ended, I hoped with some time off and without the physical rigors of the season, my knee would begin to feel better. However, once I started training daily for the NFL draft in January 2018, I realized my situation had not improved. After additional medical evaluations and creative treatments, my doctors and I have come to the realization that there is no solution that will allow me to continue to play football.

Breneman was a key recruit of former Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien and a key face of the first full recruiting class to join Penn State following the hefty sanctions levied against the program in the Jerry Sandusky scandal’s fallout. Along with Christian Hackenberg, Breneman helped keep a key recruiting class mostly together.

Breneman appeared in 11 games for the Minutemen in 2017 with 764 receiving yards and four touchdown catches. The previous season, Breneman had 808 receiving yards and eight touchdowns for UMass after two years off from football. He appeared in 11 games for the Nittany Lions in 2013 and caught three touchdowns with 186 receiving yards in his first and only season on the field in Happy Valley.

Penn State TE Jesse James entering 2015 NFL Draft

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Penn State is already starting to have a few more roster spots to fill in 2015 than James Franklin may have initially expected. Tight end Jesse James, a three-year starter, has announced he will forgo his final year of eligibility at Penn State and enter the 2015 NFL Draft.

“After serious consideration and much discussion with my family, teammates and coaches, I have opted to declare for the 2015 NFL Draft,” James said in a statement released by Penn State Monday afternoon. “Competing on Sundays has always been my dream and I believe the time to pursue this dream is now. This was an extremely difficult decision to make–my time at Penn State has been amazing and unforgettable.”

“We want to thank Jesse for all he’s done at Penn State and wish him all the best in the NFL,” Franklin said. “Jesse has been a big contributor for the program on and off the field and we’re looking forward to watching him at the next level.”

James was Penn State’s third-leading receiver in 2014 with 396 yards and three touchdowns. James blossomed in his role as tight end under former head coach Bill O’Brien and he continued to be one of the more reliable targets for Christian Hackenberg in 2014, although there were some setbacks at times this season with the instability of the offensive line.

Where James goes in the draft remains unknown of course. Fortunately for Penn State the position of tight end appears to be decently stocked in spite of roster restrictions under NCAA sanctions the past couple of seasons. Penn State returns Kyle Carter, Mike Gesicki and Brent Wilkerson in 2015, and the Nittany Lions anticipate having Adam Breneman healthy in the fall.

Penn State recently announced defensive end Deion Barnes and offensive tackle Donovan Smith will also be entering the NFL Draft one year early.

Penn State TE Breneman out indefinitely with injury

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One of the top talented players brought in by Penn State’s Class of 2013, tight end Adam Breneman, has been sidelined in fall camp with an undisclosed injury.

Penn State head coach James Franklin confirmed Monday morning through a released statement Breneman is out indefinitely, sparking some concern for a player who came to Penn State coming off an ACL injury and was a bit banged up in the spring. Franklin asked for privacy for the Breneman family and public support, which only helps to raise the caution flag on the injury status for the sophomore tight end.

Breneman was a four-star talent out of high school and one of the nation’s top tight end recruits and one of the top recruits from Pennsylvania in 2013 according to Rivals. His recruitment and commitment to Penn State fresh into the NCAA sanctions was considered key for Bill O’Brien and the coaching staff. Having Breneman on board helped to keep quarterback Christian Hackenberg in the mix as well.

Though full of potential, Penn State is fortunate to be relatively deep at tight end in 2014 compared to other positions. The Nittany Lions return Jesse James for his junior season after finishing second behind Allen Robinson in receiving last fall. Penn State also brings back Kyle Carter, another junior.

For now, there is no timetable on any potential return to action for Breneman, but it will be something worth watching moving forward in State College.

Questionable officiating helps Penn State tie Wisconsin at half


Penn State got the big plays early and the big breaks late in the first half in Madison. The Badgers, heavy favorites in this one, find themselves tied with Penn State, 14-14.

Penn State struck early with a 68-yard touchdown pass from Christian Hackenberg to tight end Adam Brenenaman, who broke a tackle and maintained his balance to sprint to the end zone before any Badgers could catch up to him. Penn State again used a big play to their advantage when Allen Robinson made some moves for a big gain on another promising possession, but Wisconsin held Penn State to a failed field goal attempt. Sam Ficken‘s kick was low and blocked at the line.

Wisconsin answered in the second quarter with a pair of touchdown passes by Joel Stave. The first score came early with a short pass to Brian Wozniak, his third touchdown catch on the year despite just four receptions at that point. The Badgers struck again when Stave threw a dart over the middle to Jeff Duckworth to give Wisconsin the lead.

Penn State would tie things up though with a late first half possession, getting some breaks to help them out. A questionable interference call against Wisconsin in the end zone gave Penn State a great scoring opportunity and the Badgers were not awarded a timeout despite head coach Gary Andersen running down the sideline calling for one. Penn State wide receiver Eugene Lewis was wide open, with no Wisconsin defender within 20 yards of him on the left side of the field as Penn State got the play off before a timeout could be called. Hackenberg tossed one of the easiest touchdown plays he will see to take advantage of the non-timeout.

Penn State’s defense was dealt a bit of a blow when they lost corner Adrian Amos. Amos is battling a foot sprain and tried to give it a go in Madison, but after one series his day appears to be done. If Amos is going to be unavailable for the rest of this game, Wisconsin should be able to thrive throwing the football a little bit. Amos has been Penn State’s best player in the secondary. Wisconsin wide receiver Jordan Frederick left the game to be treated for a right shoulder injury in the first quarter.