Less than a week after declaring his plans to forgo his senior season and enter the 2016 NFL Draft, defensive tackle Austin Johnson accepted his invitation to the Reese’s Senior Bowl, the bowl’s Twitter account announced Thursday.
Johnson was third in tackles for Penn State in 2015 with 78, and recorded 6.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss, and finished his collegiate career with 154 tackles, 8.5 sacks and 24.0 TFLs. He also had four fumble recoveries and five pass breakups in his career and has started every game for the past two seasons.
A source told the Centre Daily Times that Johnson’s spot on this year’s Senior Bowl roster was being held pending his NFL announcement, which many speculated would come after the defensive tackle received his results from the NFL Draft Advisory Board.
Penn State defensive end Carl Nassib also accepted his invitation, as did safety Jordan Lucas.
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However, Lucas has been sidelined with a shoulder injury and, after electing to have surgery before the new year, it is unlikely he will be ready for the Senior Bowl on Jan. 30. Kickoff is at 2:30 p.m. at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala., and the bowl will be broadcast on NFL Network.
The bowl is a collection of talent from all over the nation, and serves as a showcase of sorts for potential NFL prospects as well as a networking opportunity for players and personnel.