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Penn State’s Strong Tradition Of Jersey Swapping After Injuries

Shareef Miller was the latest Nittany Lion to honor an injured teammate by wearing his jersey, but he’s far from the first to do it.

Miller donned Brown’s No. 19 during Penn State’s thrilling 21-19 win over Iowa Saturday, as it was announced just prior to the game that Brown would miss the rest of the season with a knee injury he suffered against Georgia State.

Miller put on an absolute show in Iowa City, recording five tackles (all solo), including two for loss, and a safety. The redshirt sophomore now becomes Penn State’s go-to pass rusher off the edge, with classmate Ryan Buchholz joining him as a starter on this week’s depth chart.

While the football program doesn’t keep track of these things, in the past few years we’ve seen a handful of players take part in the tradition. For example, Gerald Hodges honored Michael Mauti on Senior Day in 2012 against Wisconsin by swapping No. 6 for Mauti’s No. 42. The whole team sported his number on the left side of their helmets.

Last season, Nick Scott wore Von Walker’s No. 25 in the regular season finale versus Michigan State. The year prior, Jordan Lucas wore No. 5 for Nyeem Wartman-White following the third season-ending injury of his college career. Also in 2015, Malik Golden honored an injured Lucas by wearing No. 9.

In 2014, Lucas donned Ryan Keiser’s No. 23 when a freak injury in practice cut his season short. In that same game against Michigan State, Bill Belton traded his No. 1 for Zach Zwinak’s No. 28.

It has yet to be determined if Miller will continue to wear Brown’s No. 19 or go back to his normal No. 48 this weekend against Indiana in the “Generations of Greatness” game at 3:30 p.m. on Big Ten Network.

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About the Author

Ethan Kasales

Ethan’s a senior journalism major who grew up in Lemont, a few minutes from campus. When he’s not covering Penn State sports, you can usually find him golfing or teaching snowboarding at Tussey Mountain. Feel free to email him at ethan@onwardstate.com.

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