PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Penn State’s Options To Replace Manny Bowen, Irvin Charles

Penn State dismissed junior outside linebacker Manny Bowen and redshirt sophomore receiver Irvin Charles Tuesday due to a violation of team rules.

The Nittany Lions’ showdown against Washington in the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday is fast approaching, but it’s not too early to guess who will step into their shoes next season.

Depth at linebacker was already a concern for defensive coordinator Brent Pry, as Jason Cabinda and Brandon Smith — Bowen’s replacement when he was suspended again this year — have both used up their eligibility.

Rising junior Cam Brown seems like the logical choice to fill Bowen’s role as the starting Will linebacker in 2018. After being thrust into action as a true freshman when the Nittany Lions were going through an unprecedented amount of injuries at the position, Brown had a chance to learn on the fly, making his first two starts against Minnesota and Maryland.

Brown makes a tackle against USC in the Rose Bowl.

The Burtonsville, Md., native has outstanding length at 6-foot-5, plus the speed to play sideline to sideline. It’s not hard to see him lining up alongside Koa Farmer next season, but it’s unclear whether Farmer will stay outside at Sam or move to the Mike in a pinch.

Pry anticipates an all-hands-on-deck competition in the middle, with hardly any options off the table.

“We’re fortunate we’ve signed three guys at the position that will come in early as well as the guys currently in the unit,” Pry said of incoming freshmen Micah Parsons, Jesse Luketa, and Nick Tarburton.

Pry also mentioned Brown and rising redshirt freshman Ellis Brooks as guys who will have an opportunity to compete for the job during spring practice. Walk-on Jan Johnson has a chance to see the field more frequently next year as well.

“He is a physical player. He is a very good tackler,” Pry said of Brooks. “So there’s qualities of Ellis that remind me of Jason, which is obviously a positive. And we’ve seen that through this redshirt year.”

Dae’lun Darien (87) could be in line for a breakout season next fall.

As for the candidates to replace Charles, a guy like rising redshirt sophomore Dae’lun Darien seems to be a good fit. Another 6-foot-4 receiver who isn’t afraid to block well downfield, Darien could potentially fill Charles’ role at gunner on special teams coverage.

The Nittany Lions have an absolute stockpile of talent at receiver despite Charles’ departure and the graduations of DaeSean Hamilton and Saeed Blacknall. Juwan Johnson will again start at the X spot, but five-star signee Justin Shorter could easily make a case for early playing time.

Losing talented players like Bowen and Charles certainly hurts, but Penn State is well equipped to handle the situation. Saturday’s game against the Huskies offers an early opportunity to get a glimpse at their potential replacements.

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 [email protected]


More by Ethan

Four-Star Safety Tyler Rudolph Commits To Penn State

Rudolph picked the Nittany Lions over a lengthy offer sheet that also included Clemson, Florida, Michigan, and Ohio State.

Penn State Women’s Volleyball Releases 2018 Schedule

Four-Star Athlete Marquis Wilson Commits To Penn State


North Dakota Interested In Playing Against Penn State Hockey In Nashville

North Dakota is working towards an agreement that will see its hockey team play against Penn State in Nashville during the 2020-21 season.

Former Cal Swimmer Says She Emailed Sandy Barbour About Sexual Harassment Claims

Max Sauve Commits To Penn State Hockey

Penn State Women’s Volleyball Releases 2018 Schedule

Penn State Hoops Alumnus Joonas Suotamo’s Journey To Becoming Chewbacca Featured On ESPN’s ‘E:60’

Student Life

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Career Services To Launch Integrated Career Management & Recruiting Platform

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

State Theatre Recognized As A State College Historic Site

As it approaches the 80th anniversary of its opening, the State Theatre has been recognized as a State College historic site.

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Tom Beeby will serve as the 2019 Class Gift Executive Director.

Send this to a friend