One of Penn State’s top special team performers wants a chance to do a little more.
That’s why South Western’s Drew Hartlaub said he’s entered the NCAA transfer portal and is looking at other options for his senior year or two of college football.
It does not mean that the walk-on player will definitely move to another school. He said he would likely need a scholarship offer to move.
“I think my speed could have an attack or a defense … I’m really open to anything,” Hartlaub said this week. “I played offensive in high school, I think I can play receiver (now). I think the most important thing is to add as much value to each team as possible.
“I still don’t know what my role would be if I went back to Penn State this spring. I’m just exploring all of my options.
“I’m not,” he said, “closing the door at Penn State.”
So far, he said Mid-American Conference schools Kent State and Bowling Green were two of the first to contact him since entering the transfer portal on Tuesday. Penn State has allowed players to enter the portal and still return to the team, such as security Lamont Wade and receiver Cam Sullivan-Brown.
Hartlaub, a senior redshirt, said he has discussed the situation with his position coach, Tim Banks. He will be eligible for two more years, thanks to NCAA rules granting everyone an extra season because of COVID-19.
Although he doesn’t have a purse, Hartlaub (1.8 meters, 185 pounds) has been drawing attention over the past three seasons for his special team reporting skills and for his speed. He has 11 career tackles, but hasn’t gotten a chance to play safety yet.
His first peak came in the Citrus Bowl after the 2018 season, where he outsmarted anyone to follow a long punt and follow it into the Kentucky 5-yard line.
He also recovered clumsy punts in Michigan State (2019) and Michigan (2020). The coaches called him Penn State’s Special Teams Player of the Week both times.
Hartlaub has reportedly been the fastest player of the team in recent years, which means faster than KJ Hamler and Journey Brown of Denver Broncos, a record-breaking public high school sprinter.
Hartlaub is timed at 4.25 seconds over 40 meters.
He said he got some practical work as a kick-off re-entrant last fall, but was not used in a competition.
In September, Joe Lorig, Penn State special teams coach, had this to say about Hartlaub, the only former YAIAA player on the roster:
“He’s a man who does a lot of great things for our team. He’s willing to sacrifice his body.
Hartlaub came to Penn State after a promising high school career was marred by an injury.
He broke through as a sophomore by completing 1,303 all-purpose yards and scoring 14 touchdowns. But an ACL tear in the first game of his junior season ended his fall and hurt his recruiting in college.
He played a diminished offensive role as a senior before enjoying a strong final track and field season.
Still,However, James Franklin, Penn State’s head coach, remained interested and invited him as a favorite walk-on.
“I’m a little torn,” said Hartlaub. “I love Penn State, I love the coaches, I love my teammates. But at the same time, I have to do what’s best and my family, from a financial point of view, and possibly improve my role.”
Rasheed Walker returns
Penn State will have its starting left gear back.
The sophomore in the red shirt could have left for the NFL early, but announced on social media this week that he would return to the Lions in 2021. He started all nine games last season and helped improve the offensive line significantly during the game. win of four games. streak.
The news is especially important after the Lions lost three possible starters from their line to seniors Will Fries and Michal Menet and junior CJ Thorpe, who have decided to switch.
FrankBodanic covers Penn State football for the York Daily Record and USA Today Network. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @YDRPennState.
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