After over a month of speculation, started by a cryptic Instagram post, it was confirmed during Penn State Football Media Day that Manny Bowen is indeed, a member of the Penn State football team once again. Bowen’s name was listed on the latest version of Penn State’s 2018 roster.
Bowen as you may recall, was initially booted off the team prior to the Fiesta Bowl last December, after missing the team’s final three regular season for an unspecified “violation of team rules.” Given that this wasn’t the first time he had been suspended (Bowen was not allowed to play in the 2017 Rose Bowl, also due to an unspecified violation of team rules), it seemed as if his PSU playing days were over.
However, a cryptic post from Manny’s Instagram account back in late June that seemed to hint at being allowed to return to the team began fueling mass speculation amongst the Penn State region of the Internets that Manny would indeed be given another chance. Additionally, a photo of a man who seemed to resemble Bowen wearing Bowen’s old #43 jersey made its way onto the official Penn State athletics website photo gallery from the first day of official practice. Said photo was quickly deleted after folks on the Lions247 message board began to catch on.
Without question, this is a huge boost to the linebacking corps, which is arguably the team’s greatest source of concern. If the senior can win the starting MIKE (middle linebacker) position during camp, it would put an experienced and proven player in a spot that would otherwise have to rely on somebody much more green, and would take the pressure off other projected starters such as Koa Farmer and Micah Parsons to try and carry the load.
Here was what coach James Franklin said about Bowen’s return.
Later at media day, defensive coordinator Brent Pry spoke about Bowen.