Penn State’s linebacker room - and defense - could be getting better soon if social media is any indication.
After being removed from Penn State’s roster prior to the Fiesta Bowl, it appeared that Manny Bowen’s career was over for the Nittany Lions. He did not play in the team’s final three regular season games, and was also suspended for the Rose Bowl following the 2016 campaign.
Bowen posted a picture of himself from the 2017 season with the caption “Mood!!” on his Instagram account Thursday night and a number of current players replied with comments that seemed to indicate Bowen is or would soon be back.
Entering the 2018 season, one of the few positions with any question marks appeared to be linebacker. Having Bowen back in the fold would go a long way toward answering these questions though as he brings a combination of talent and experience to the linebacker room.
Bowen has played in 30 games the past three seasons recording 136 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, three sacks, and two forced fumbles. He should replace Jason Cabinda as the team’s MIKE linebacker, as well as the signal caller on defense.
Having Bowen back in the fold also lessens what will be asked of Micah Parsons (true freshman) and Ellis Brooks (RS freshman). This could allow the Nittany Lions to use Parsons as more of a quarterback-terrorizing pass rusher, while Brooks can ease into his role at MIKE.
In any case, it will be something to monitor as summer practice nears.