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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 is a senior majoring in journalism and Onward State's managing editor. He's a huge Philadelphia sports fan, fantasy football aficionado, and washed-up drummer hailing from Collegeville, Pa. The quickest way to his heart is Margherita pizza and "Arrested Development" quotes. Follow him on Twitter @mattdisanto_ if you hate yourself or email Matt at [email protected] if you hate him.

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