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Former Penn State Football Star Olu Fashanu Ready For NFL Draft Despite Injury

At the end of Penn State football’s 2022 campaign, offensive tackle Olu Fashanu was projected as a top pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. As a then-20-year-old with size and athleticism, it’s understandable why he was so attractive to NFL scouts and executives.

But in a day and age where going pro as soon as possible is the goal for many young athletes, Fashanu went against the grain and returned for his senior year to earn his diploma.

In his senior season, Fashanu picked up right where he left off. The 6’6,” 312-pound left tackle started all 12 games and played a total of 365 pass-blocking snaps in which he didn’t allow a sack. Fashanu was named to the All-Big Ten first team by coaches and media, he was the Rimington-Pace Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year, and he was on the Academic All-Big Ten team as well.

“I definitely think I’m a better player,” Fashanu said at Penn State’s Pro Day on Friday. “I definitely don’t regret the opportunity to come back for another year.”

Fashanu formally declared for the NFL Draft on December 12 and has since competed in the NFL Combine, where he suffered a right thigh injury while running the 40-yard dash. Even with the injury and remaining in college for another year, Fashanu’s draft stock hasn’t changed much as he is still widely projected as a top-10 pick. At the combine, Fashanu ran a 5.11-second 40-yard dash with a 1.77 10-yard split, a 32″ vertical, and a 9’1″ broad jump.

Fashanu participated in Penn State’s Pro Day, despite the injury, where he said he did a practice run of the Pro Day events earlier in the week and felt “good enough” to do drills. Fashanu only participated in a few positional drills at the Pro Day but still felt he showed off his skill set.

“Obviously, in the NFL, a lot of teams are more outside-zone oriented. So, I think it’s really important for me to showcase my ability to move,” Fashanu said. “I was not 100%, but I still felt that I was able to showcase my movement.”

Fashanu mentioned he is unsure how long until he’ll be fully healthy again, but he’s confident it will be “way before” the NFL Draft on April 25.

Fashanu said he has met with around 13-18 NFL teams during the pre-draft process, and the leadership role he developed at Penn State helped him in the team interviews and personality questions.

“They’ve asked me tons about Chop [Robinson] and Adisa [Isaac],” Fashanu said. “They’re just asking me about my teammates and that’s something that I can talk about all day long.”

“Whatever teams draft [these] guys here, they’re all getting steals,” Fashanu added.

Because he calls himself a “homebody,” Fashanu isn’t sure if he’ll attend the draft yet, but he’s still excited for the moment when his name gets called.

“That’s a moment I’ve dreamed of for a long time,” Fashanu said. “When that moment comes, I’m not really sure what I’m going to do. I’m just going to make sure I embrace everyone who’s been with me this entire time.”

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About the Author

Mitch Corcoran

Mitch is a junior broadcast journalism major from Johnstown, PA. He is a big Pittsburgh sports fan and in his free time he likes to listen to music, play video games, and rewatch old football games. He also loves Seinfeld, Star Wars, bucket hats, and Dua Lipa. If you want Justin Herbert propaganda or random sports content, follow him on Twitter/X @MitchCorc18 or email [email protected]

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