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Penn State Offensive Lineman Blake Zalar Medically Retires, Joins Coaching Staff

After announcing his medical retirement, Penn State offensive lineman Blake Zalar is transitioning to the coaching staff as an assistant for the 2022 season, following his medical retirement Wednesday afternoon.

Zalar announced his retirement on Facebook, calling it “the hardest decision” he’s ever made.

“Impending a third surgical procedure in a year, I believe it is best for me to shift my priorities and take care of my health for my future,” Zalar wrote. “I wholeheartedly thank everyone for their unwavering support and positive reinforcement throughout my years.”

The 6’1″, 296-pound walk-on from Coal Township, Pa., originally accepted an offer to attend Rutgers but switched after Penn State became more interested. Zalar was a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and appeared in one game over three seasons for the Nittany Lions.

The former lineman made his collegiate playing debut against Rutgers in November as a center. Zalar will hope to leverage that experience as he helps the staff develop Penn State’s offensive line in 2022.

Zalar becomes the second Penn State player to shift to a staff role ahead of next season after Vlad Hilling joined the team’s performance enhancement staff last week.

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About the Author

Matt Brown

Matt is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in sports studies from Bensalem, Pa. Matt is a huge Philadelphia sports fan and an overall sports fan in general. When not watching sports, you'll find him taking down any Dollar Dog challenge or rewatching the Big Ten Maps Commercial. To reach him, follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @matt_brown63, or email him at [email protected].

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