The Nittany Lions received a pleasant surprise Monday night, as soon-to-be All-B1G left tackle Olu Fashanu announced he was forgoing the 2023 NFL Draft to return to Penn State for one more season.
In a story with ESPN’s Pete Thamel, Fashanu outlined the reasons he wanted to come back: to earn his degree and to help Penn State win a freaking National Championship.
Fashanu told ESPN that he felt like he has “unfinished business” at Penn State and that he’s returning primarily to help the Nittany Lions accomplish bigger goals, specifically naming the Big Ten Championship and a national title as two things he’d like to achieve in 2023. He stressed that the potential of the core of young talent at Penn State is appealing to him, and he’s appreciative of the chemistry that he’s built with both offensive line coach Phil Trautwein and coach James Franklin.
Fashanu also said he’ll get his degree in supply chain management sometime in the next year and plans to start his master’s.
“Penn State is an awesome place to go to school,” he said. “And I can get my education for free.”
While there had been some message board rumors that Fashanu was not a lock to go to the NFL this offseason, it really shouldn’t be understated how massive it is to get back a projected first round pick; let alone, one that was likely to go in the Top 10.
With Fashanu back in the fold, Penn State’s offensive line should be one of the best in the conference next season — if not the best in the conference. While there are some moving pieces as far as what Juice Scruggs and Caedan Wallace decide to do, the Nittany Lions should be trotting out five offensive linemen with starting experience.