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James Franklin ‘Planning’ On Having Fashanu, Wallace, & Lee For Rose Bowl

James Franklin met with the media on Friday as part of Penn State football’s local bowl media day.

The head coach provided updates on offensive linemen Olu Fashanu and Caedan Wallace, as well as running back Keyvone Lee. All three have missed extended periods of time this season due to injury.

While things are subject to change, Franklin said the team is “planning” on having all three available for the Rose Bowl.

“We’re not going to rush [Fashanu and Wallace] back,” Franklin said. “It’ll all be based on where the medical staff feels that they are and where these guys feel they are — both physically and mentally. I’ll even throw a bonus one in there — Olu, Caedan, and Keyvone [Lee]. We’re expecting to have all three of those. We’ll see. We’ll see how it plays out.”

All three players have served as key pieces to Penn State’s offense during their tenures in Happy Valley. Fashanu hasn’t played since leaving the Ohio State game with an injury. The left tackle, who was projected as a top-10 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, recently announced that he’s returning to Penn State for another reason, providing a huge boost to next year’s offense.

Wallace, who hasn’t played since the White Out, has served as the Nittany Lions’ right tackle when healthy. He’s started 27 games for Penn State across three seasons, including seven starts this season. The 6’5″ tackle has suited up since departing the Minnesota game, but he’s yet to appear in a contest.

As for Lee, he entered the season as the Nittany Lions’ starting running back, even securing the game-winning touchdown in the team’s season-opener against Purdue.

The emergence of true freshmen Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen led to Lee falling out of favor in the backfield, which was furthered by injuries that have kept Lee out since the Michigan game on October 15. Lee has appeared in five games this season and has started two of them.

Penn State will take on Utah in the 2023 Rose Bowl at 5 p.m. EST on Monday, January 2, in Pasadena, California.

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a senior majoring in journalism and is 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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