The offseason is officially here with Penn State Football winning the Rose Bowl on Monday
Penn State Football ended its season with a 35-21 win over Utah in the Rose Bowl and now all eyes are on 2023.
Attention while now turn to the transfer portal and which draft eligible players will return for the 2023 season. Penn State has numerous players who need to still make a decision about the draft, and some are starting to tip their hand on which way they are leaning.
Let’s get into this morning’s Penn State football news
Rose Bowl Notes
Before getting into the 2023 roster, let’s take a quick look back at last night’s game.
The Nittany Lions defeated Utah 35-21 in a game that did not even feel that close in the second half. Quarterback Sean Clifford earned offensive MVP honors after going 16-22 for 279 yards and two touchdowns. His 88-yard touchdown pass to KeAndre Lambert-Smith was the longest pass play in Rose Bowl history.
On defense, safety Ji’Ayir Brown was award defensive MVP after recording an interception, 1.5 sacks and eight tackles. This was his last game as a Nittany Lion, and a great way for him to go out.
This was Penn State’s second ever Rose Bowl win, joining the 1994 team’s win over Oregon back on New Year’s Day 1995.
Devin Carter Commits to Penn State, Other Portal News
Lost in the shuffle of the Penn State win and the tragic events surrounding the Bills-Bengals NFL game, the Nittany Lions received another commit from the transfer portal.
The addition was NC State transfer wide receiver Devin Carter. Listed at 6-foot-4, Carter will be the tallest wide out on the roster next season. For more information on Carter, check out this story.
Penn State’s Spring semester starts on Jan. 9, so expect there to be more movement this week. The Nittany Lions would probably like to add one more wide out and a defensive tackle. The ‘Big 3’ of Dante Cephas, Dont’e Thornton and Kaden Prather are all still out there at wide receiver.
Back in 2023?
After the Rose Bowl, a couple key draft eligible players gave insight on which way they are leaning for 2023.
Linebacker Curtis Jacobs, who had two sacks in the Rose Bowl, said the idea of coming back to Penn State in 2023 was “enticing”, according to Tyler Donohue of 247 Sports. Jacobs would be a senior in 2023.
Tight end Theo Johnson told Jon Sauber of The Centre Daily Times that he is leaning towards returning to Penn State in 2023. With Brenton Strange off to the NFL, Johnson would assume the majority of the workload at tight end for the Nittany Lions in 2023. He, like Jacobs, would be a senior in 2023, although they both have their ‘Covid year’ of eligibility remaining.