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Penn State Football: Freiermuth Snubbed, Talks NFL Eligibility and Ohio State

by on November 19, 2019 3:07 PM

Penn State tight end Pat Freiermuth was not named a Mackey Award finalists earlier this week, the award is given annually to the nation's top tight end.

Freiermuth, who has seven touchdowns and 34 receptions this season has been one of Penn State's most consistent targets both in 2018 and during the 2019 season. 

And while he may or may not be the absolute best, coach James Franklin certainly thinks he's within the top eight.

"I can't imagine there's eight tight ends in the country that people would choose ahead of Pat Freiermuth," Franklin said on Tuesday. "Could there be a couple? Okay, I can live with that. But eight? No, no."

The snub doesn't seem to impact the player himself, Freiremuth his usually calm and collected self during a media session Tuesday, the Nittany Lion start only a few days from a pivotal meeting against No. 2 ranked Ohio State in Columbus.

 "Yeah, it's disappointing," Freiermuth added. "I thought I did everything I could this year so far up to this point to prove that I'm one of the best tight ends in the country.

"An award doesn't define me who I am, who I am as player. I think I've had a really good season so far. It is what it is, I can't control that now. My focus right now is on Ohio State, anything we can do to beat them, the season moving forward."

The bad news for Penn State fans, despite being only a sophomore, Freiermuth confirmed on Tuesday that he is in fact eligible for the 2020 NFL Draft due to a a repeated year and reclassification of his high school graduating prior to enrolling at Penn State. NFL draft rules entail a player must be three years removed from high school, which almost always equates to a player's junior year of college. In the case of Freiermuth, he would be eligible to enter the draft this upcoming cycle.

But first things first, Penn State's date with Ohio State, a year removed from Freiermuth's own solid performance against the Buckeyes, a three reception, 44 yard outing include a crucial second half touchdown in what would turn out to be Penn State's first loss of the year.

"Ohio State is probably one of the best programs if not the best in the country," Freiermuth said. "Obviously having my first start in the whiteout, having a good game like I did, definitely helped my confidence. But that was last year. I've grown as a player, same as this team. Hopefully I can come out this year and I can play well, the team can play well, see where it ends up."

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