The Penn State football program has taken a personnel hit. Unlike most other cases, though, it isn’t due to the portal.
Monday, Penn State released an updated football roster. In somewhat of a surprise, Mac Hippenhammer was not listed as part of the Penn State football team. Subsequent to that, 247Sports.com reported that the wide receiver has decided to shift his focus to another sport — baseball.
Hippenhammer played outfield for the Nittany Lions last season. Prior to the coronavirus scrubbing spring sports, Hippenhammer played the stick-and-ball game again this year for Penn State.
Hippenhammer was a three-star member of the Nittany Lions’ Class of 2017. He was rated as the No. 5 player regardless of position in the state of Indiana.
As a true freshman, Hippenhammer took a redshirt. The next two seasons, he played in 20 games. One of those appearances was a start, which came in 2018.
It appears Hippenhammer will finish his PSU football career with seven receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown. He also returned two punts for 13 yards in 2019.
As for his prowess on the diamond?
Hippenhammer started 35 games and batted .272 with a .350 on-base percentage for the baseball team last season. He started 35 of 39 games in 2019. He started the 2020 season batting .205 with eight RBI and five stolen bases before the season prematurely ended.
Last month, Penn State released the terms of a new six-year contract for head football coach James Franklin. The 48-year-old Franklin just completed his sixth season in Happy Valley. In that span, the Nittany Lions have gone 56-23 overall and 34-18 in Big Ten play. Three times (2016, 2017, 2019), PSU has won 11 games under Franklin. Each of those seasons, they ended the year playing in a New Year’s Six bowl game.
Penn State football has finished no worse than third in the Big Ten East the past four seasons. They have also gone 3-3 in bowl games under Franklin, including a win in the highest-scoring Cotton Bowl game ever.