Shane Simmons To Return To Penn State Lineup This Weekend

No. 8 Penn State will get a big piece of its defensive line back this weekend.

Defensive end Shane Simmons missed the Nittany Lions’ first five games of the 2018 season due to an undisclosed injury suffered in training camp, but he’ll be back in the lineup against Michigan State this weekend.

Simmons hinted at his return on Monday afternoon.

Head coach James Franklin said that Simmons will be eased into the rotation and may only play 10-15 snaps against Michigan State. However, he’s excited at the prospect of having the defensive end back in the lineup because of how well-rounded his game has become. 

“We’re real excited to have Shane back,” Franklin said on Tuesday. “He’s more of a complete player than he has been in the past, and he’s up to above 250 pounds now. He’s always been a pass rusher, but we also think he’ll do a really good job defending against the run.”

The sophomore made nine appearances as a freshman and became a key cog on the Nittany Lions’ defensive line. He finished the season with 15 total tackles, 4.5 of which came for a loss. Torrence Brown’s season-ending injury thrust Simmons into a larger role, and he was poised to take the starting job full-time before getting injured during training camp.

Only five other players had more TFLs than Simmons, who was listed behind Yetur Gross-Matos on Penn State’s depth chart this week.

Although he may be one of the team’s best defensive ends, the position group hasn’t missed him all that much. Other young players like Gross-Matos and Shaka Toney have stepped up in his absence alongside regular starter Shareef Miller.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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