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Inside Penn State Baseball’s Seniors’ Decisions To Utilize Additional Year Of Eligibility

Penn State baseball’s three seniors — Gavin Homer, Mason Nadeau, and Jacob Padilla — have finally made their decisions on whether or not they will take advantage of their additional year of eligibility granted by the NCAA.

Homer announced he’ll return to the team, while Nadeau and Padilla have opted to move on and not take the extra year.

Before the season’s cancellation due to the coronavirus pandemic, Homer possessed an impressive .400 batting average and .689 slugging percentage after totaling a team-leading 18 hits and 17 RBIs. His decision simply came down to wanting to play more baseball.

“I just want to play the game as long as it allows me to,” Homer told Penn State’s Brian Tripp. “I’ve got two years in at Penn State and felt like we really had some unfinished business. When I got the news that they were granting another year, I was excited to accept it.”

Nadeau, on the other hand, will move on after totaling 75 hits, 39 RBIs, and five home runs in his first three years wearing blue and white. During his abbreviated senior season, the outfielder didn’t see much action as he totaled just six at-bats. Nadeau’s decision was a tough one, but one he knew was right for him.

“It was definitely a tough decision, but I had a great job lined up that I actually accepted over the spring break trip,” Nadeau said. “It was a great opportunity and a difficult one to pass up.”

Padilla will end his Penn State career after arriving in Happy Valley as a junior. The catcher played in 26 games in his two-year career with the Nittany Lions, totaling 20 hits and six RBIs. Padilla will begin a new chapter of his life upon leaving Penn State as he becomes a father with his pregnant wife.

“The number one reason is that my wife is pregnant, so I have to move on and be a dad,” Padilla explained. “I told her whenever this baseball thing was over, no matter how it ended, I was going to go right back home to her.”

The loss of Padilla and Nadeau will likely hurt the Nittany Lions’ depth. Padilla started seven games behind the plate this year — nearly half the games the team played. Penn State only had two other catchers on the roster this season, starting catcher Matt Wood and Tyson Cooper, the son of head coach Rob Cooper. Cooper didn’t see any game action this year, but will presumably be called upon to step up next season.

Meanwhile, Homer will return and attempt to build off the team’s 10-5 record in its abbreviated 2020 season. Homer’s consistency makes his return to Penn State all the more important.

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a senior majoring in journalism and is suddenly Onward State's managing editor. He grew up in Lindenhurst, New York, and has had the absolute misfortune of rooting for the Jets, Mets, and Knicks. If you want to see his bad sports takes, follow him on Twitter @gabeangieri and direct all hate mail and death threats to [email protected]

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