Last year this time, right tackle Caedan Wallace and linebacker Curtis Jacobs were announcing their decisions to return to Penn State. Fast forward 12 months later, and each decided against the extra season of eligibility granted by the NCAA due to COVID-stricken 2020 season. Both Jacobs and Wallace will play in the Peach Bowl, but will call it a Penn State career after and head to the NFL.
Jacobs was a three-year starter, while Wallace was a four-year starter so safe to say they both have played *a lot* of football in Happy Valley. While the idea of a fifth season for Jacobs and a sixth season for Wallace obviously played in their minds, this is probably the right move given both have strong 2023 seasons.
Jacobs thrived back at his SAM linebacker spot, and should be an intriguing option for an NFL that continues to emphasis speed and athleticism at the linebacker spot. Come late February/early March when the NFL combine takes place, don’t be surprised when Jacobs lights up the board for athletic testing.
For Wallace, he had a much more consistent season in 2023 after some frustrating duels against speed pass rushers in previous season. While he might have appeared to be the more likely option to return given what another year of improvement could do for his draft stock, a good reminder for how long he’s been a Penn State football player is that he played with the likes of John Reid and Robert Windsor — players in the 2015 recruiting class. For reference, some of the 2024 recruiting class will be enrolling in less than a month. He’s been here a *long* time and given that he’s probably an offensive guard at the next level, it makes sense to not delay his pro career any further.