Redshirt junior defensive end Garrett Sickels declared for the 2017 NFL Draft Wednesday. He’ll forgo his final season of eligibility.
— Garrett Sickels (@Sickels_90) January 4, 2017
“I have made friendships and bonds that will last a lifetime. I’m so unbelievably proud to call myself a Penn Stater,” Sickels said in a release posted on his Twitter account. “This was not an easy decision by any means but I am excited for the next chapter,” he continued.
The Red Bank, N.J., native was a member of the heralded 2013 recruiting class that helped to hold the team together following the sanctions. He’ll reunite with former roommate and good friend Christian Hackenberg on Sundays next fall, the only question is which franchise will select the 6-foot-4, 260-pounder in late April. Invites to the Combine are already rolling out, so we’ll see if Sickels will return to Lucas Oil Stadium to show NFL brass what he’s made of.
Sickels, who was named second-team All-Big Ten by the coaches, steadily improved his play on the field with each season in the program. He racked up team-high marks with 12.5 tackles for loss, six sacks, and four quarterback hits in 2016. Sickels also recorded 47 total tackles — good for seventh on Brent Pry’s defense.