Last week Penn State fans found out that tight end Mike Gesicki would be returning for his senior season. Now one week later, and it was more good news for Nittany Nation as junior linebacker Jason Cabinda announced that he will also be returning for his senior season.
Cabinda has been a stalwart on the Penn State defense since he was a sophomore, totaling 170 tackles the previous two seasons, all while missing four games this year due to a thumb injury. When Cabinda came back from that thumb injury, he played perhaps his best game as a Nittany Lion, racking up 12 tackles and picking up a now iconic third down sack on J.T. Barrett on Ohio State’s final drive.
Out of the five players most likely to have entered the NFL Draft — Gesicki, Cabinda, Garrett Sickels, Marcus Allen, and Chris Godwin — Cabinda was probably the best bet to be returning for his senior season. So while this isn’t that much of a surprise, it’s good to get confirmation that the MIKE linebacker will be in Happy Valley for another season. You can be sure he’ll be named a captain next season, and will be in charge of leading a talented but green linebacking corps.
Now, Penn State awaits the decisions of the other three juniors: Sickels, Allen, and Godwin. If all three players return — or even if two of three return — it’s tough to imagine the Nittany Lions not garnering even more hype heading into the 2017 season.