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Penn State Football: Defensive End Smith Vilbert Unavailable for Rest of Season

Penn State football will be without one of its defensive lineman for the remainder of the year as coach James Franklin said on Tuesday evening that redshirt junior defensive end Smith Vilbert won’t play this season.

Franklin did not expand on the details regarding Vilbert’s status with the team.

“Smith will not be available this week and will not be available this season,” Franklin said.

Vilbert had yet to appear in any games for the Nittany Lions this season. Last week, Franklin said that Vilbert was “unavailable” but did not expound further.

Prior to the 2022 season, Vilbert made a name for himself on New Year’s Day in the Outback Bowl with three sacks, which thrust Vilbert into immediate conversations among fans and onlookers for a spot in Penn State’s increasingly deep defensive end rotation.

“I’d like to sit down with Smith and make sure that we’re on the same page…I’m really proud that Smith Vilbert is a part of our program,” Franklin said earlier in the week when asked why Vilbert was not available to play in Penn State’s eventual 17-7 win over Northwestern.

Vilbert has totaled eight tackles and three sacks in 16 games played for the Nittany Lions.