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Penn State Football Signs 7-Year-Old Cancer Patient To Honorary Contract

It’s officially National Signing Day and Penn State football was hard at work today formally signing 27 members of its 2020 recruiting class to contracts and officially making them Nittany Lions.

However, the day wasn’t all about football. The program took a break from inking its 2020 recruiting class to sign 7-year-old cancer patient Sawyer Bell to an honorary contract through Team IMPACT, a nonprofit that works to connect children facing life-threatening illnesses with college athletic teams.

“With the 20th pick in the first round of the 2020 National Signing Day Draft, the Penn State Nittany Lions select Sawyer Bell from West Perry School District in Sherman’s Dale, Pa. — our newest team member from Team IMPACT,” a Penn State football spokeswoman said.

Bell was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, which is a highly dangerous form of cancer that affects skeletal muscle cells. He’s one of the hundreds of children who have received once-in-a-lifetime opportunities from Team IMPACT every year since the late 1960s.

This isn’t the first time the Nittany Lions have partnered with the organization. Penn State softball signed Aunnah Nagel, a then-14-year-old battling neurofibromatosis, to its team back in early 2018 thanks to the efforts of Team IMPACT.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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