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[Photo Story] Penn State Football Veterans Enjoy Exciting Senior Day

Although we know now that Penn State football’s seniors will have another game in Beaver Stadium this fall, Saturday’s Senior Day against Michigan State was emotional for many.

New coronavirus restrictions limited the players’ families from actually watching the game, but some parents still greeted their kids before the game.

Some of them talked over Zoom, while others entered the stadium to watch pregame ceremonies before being ushered out before kickoff. Each senior’s name was called and they ran out of the tunnel to meet Sandy Barbour and James Franklin. Zoom messages from their families played over the jumbotron.

Editor’s Note: All photos are by Onward State’s Shannon Soboslay, who also celebrated Senior Day on Saturday! Thanks for all your hard work for the blog, ShanSobo.

A special banner appeared with the rest of the usual suspects from Nittanyville. It thanked the student-athlete seniors as well as members of the Blue Band, Lionettes, Cheer, and Nittanyville.

Penn State’s seniors had a great day on the field as well. Most notably, Shane Simmons made his first-ever start. He recorded a career-high seven tackles, two tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks.

Senior safety Jaquan Brisker also led the way for the defense with nine tackles. Shaka Toney had five tackles, while Lamont Wade and Antonio Shelton each had three.

Senior offensive linemen Will Fries and Michal Menet also didn’t allow a single sack all afternoon.

The celebrations continued after the game as well. Simmons was one of the first Nittany Lions to get his hands on the coveted Land-Grant Trophy. Senior wide receiver Benjamin Wilson also hoisted the beautiful award as well.

Franklin, who said after the game that Senior Day in an empty stadium made him emotional, gave Barbour and some of the seniors a hug as the regular season came to a close. Antonio Shelton lied down in the grass to soak in his potential final moments in the stadium as well.

The seniors then proceeded to take a ceremonial lap around the stadium. Some donned Nittanyville banners as capes, while others just smiled and looked around the empty stadium.

Penn State will have one final game in Beaver Stadium this year when it hosts Illinois at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 19. Seniors were also granted an extra year of illegibility due to the pandemic, so it’s possible some may return for another season.

Nevertheless, emotions still ran high Saturday on what many thought was their last game in Happy Valley.

Here’s a full list of the 12 seniors Penn State honored this weekend:

  • Trevor Baker [#43, TE]
  • Jaquan Brisker [#1, S]
  • Tariq Castro-Fields [#5, CB]
  • Will Fries [#71, OL]
  • Carson Landis [#97, K/P]
  • Isaac Lutz [#85, WR]
  • Michal Menet [#62, OL]
  • Antonio Shelton [#55, DL]
  • Shane Simmons [#34, DL]
  • Shaka Toney [#18, DL]
  • Lamont Wade [#38, S]
  • Benjamin Wilson [#84, WR]

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About the Author

Ryan Parsons

Ryan is a junior business major from Bucks County and is Onward State's social media manager. He writes about a lot of things. He's a huge Philly sports fan, back to back to back failed entrepreneur, and he appeared on the Rachel Ray Show at the age of 5. If you want to gain absolutely nothing, you can follow him on twitter @rjparsons9. Any "serious" inquiries or death threats can be sent to [email protected]

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