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One Penn State player staying, another thought to be leaving

There’s mostly good news coming out of Happy Valley.

Penn State defeated Rutgers 27-6, then found out afterward that standout sophomore tight end Pat Freiermuth will return to school next season. Freiermuth is draft-eligible because he played his first year at a prep school.

Freiermuth, at 6-foot-5, 256 pounds, caught 41 passes for 468 yards and 7 touchdowns this season, giving him 836 yards and 67 receptions for his two-year career. Fanspeak rates him as the No. 45 overall prospect, although his name will likely be removed from Tuesday’s On the Clock big board.

And if that wasn’t enough, head coach James Franklin indicated that he wanted to return to Penn State. Various media reports have quoted sources saying Franklin was Florida State’s main target as head coach and that there was mutual interest. Franklin also has been rumored as a possible replacement for USC coach Clay Helton if Helton is fired.

But it wasn’t all rosy, as Penn State was without several players on Saturday due to various injuries. Most notable was edge Yetur Gross-Matos and cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields. Defensive back John Reid left the Rutgers game with an injury and did not return.

Gross-Matos injured his arm in the team’s loss to Ohio State the previous week. His arm was in a sling and a brace at the Rutgers game. His status, along with Castro-Fields and Reid, is unknown, as is the specifics of all of the players’ injuries.

Gross-Matos reportedly is leaning toward entering the 2020 NFL draft. He’s currently ranked as the No. 58 prospect in the Fanspeak big board and No. 21 in the Fanspeak-Jake big board. At 6-foot-5, 254 pounds, Gross-Matos has 14 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks and 39 tackles this season, giving him 36 TFLs, 18 sacks and 110 tackles in three years.

Castro-Fields, a 6-foot, 197 pound junior, has battled injuries most of the season but still managed 48 tackes, 3 TFLs, 2 interceptions and 8 passes defended.

Other injury news:
  • Texas’ top two wide receivers are banged up. Collin Johnson (6-6, 220) has only played in six games this season and missed the last three with a lingering hamstring injury. Johnson has already accepted an invite to the Senior Bowl. Devin Duvernay (5-11, 210) injured his should in Texas’ win against Texas Tech, but the injury is not considered serious. Duvernay is nearing several school records.
  • Western Michigan RB LeVante Bellamy has a knee injury and is day-to-day. Ballamy leads the nation with 23 rushing TDs and is eighth in rushing yards with 1,412 yards.

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