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Penn State Football: As Big Ten Season Gets Start Date, Freiermuth Set To Return

by on September 16, 2020 12:20 PM

Penn State tight end Pat Freiermuth isn't going anywhere. The standout junior confirmed his decision to return to play for the Nittany Lions this upcoming season during a segment on the Big Ten Network early Wednesday afternoon.

Freiermuth had never announced his intentions to depart the program and prepare for the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft but reportedly was set to do so, something two program sources indicated was a decision he was close to making public.

Having previously announced his plans to stay following the 2019 season despite being eligible for the 2020 NFL Draft, reports that the Big Ten would begin play in October opened the door for a reevaluation. The conference announced on Wednesday its football season will begin Oct. 23-24.

The junior admitted on the Big Ten Network that he had considered opting out and had open conversations with Penn State coach James Franklin about his future and that decision, one Franklin says he would have supported either way.

"If Pat would have left, there would have been nobody that was more supportive and care about Pat’s future than myself and my staff and our team," Franklin said.

“At the end of the day, this is Pat’s decision, but I do think we were able to have some really honest conversations, which helped, because for him to come back, I wanted him to be 100 percent on board with that decision, and if he was going to leave, then we were going to be 100% percent on board with him."

As for star linebacker Micah Parsons, the former Nittany Lion standout isn't expected to backtrack his earlier decision to opt-out of the upcoming season. Parsons announced his decision prior to the Big Ten's initial cancelation in mid August and has since reportedly signed with an agent which under normal NCAA rules, makes him no longer eligible to return.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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