Three weeks after being reinstated, Penn State linebacker Manny Bowen is no longer with the program.
A Penn State spokesperson confirmed the news, which was first reported by Lions 247.
“Manny Bowen is no longer on the Penn State football team,” the statement read. “We wish him all the best.”
Bowen returned to Penn State’s roster on Aug. 4 following suspensions in back-to-back seasons. He missed the Nittany Lions’ narrow Rose Bowl loss due to a violation of team rules, was suspended for the final three regular-season games of the 2017 season and was kicked off the team in December, days prior to Penn State’s Fiesta Bowl contest against Washington.
No specific reasons were given for either suspension or his dismissal. Still, he remained enrolled at the university.
Franklin announced at Penn State media day that, after creating “some stipulations for Manny to achieve,” Bowen had earned his way back on the roster.
“Manny graduates in December, and we felt like this plan was going to give him the best opportunity to graduate in December,” Franklin said. “We didn’t make it easy on him.”
Added defensive coordinator Brent Pry: “He did an outstanding job with it. To be honest, I’m not surprised. He’s a very determined young man. It’s good to have him back out there. I have a lot of love for Manny.”
With 21 starts under his belt, Bowen was expected to take over at middle linebacker upon his return to the team. Franklin said two weeks ago that Bowen wouldn’t start in the opener against Appalachian State, but his talent seemed undeniable in the long run. In nine games last year, Bowen made 51 tackles, good for fifth on the team even after missing four contests.
His teammates were happy to have Bowen back, too. Fifth-year senior Koa Farmer called Bowen “one of our brothers” at media day, while Jan Johnson said, “When he talks, you listen.”
Now, with Bowen not in the picture yet again, the onus at linebacker falls on a few veterans and newcomers. Farmer and Cam Brown will likely start on the outside, with Johnson manning the middle. Redshirt freshman Ellis Brooks and true freshmen Micah Parsons and Jesse Luketa will have to step up, as well.
Penn State released its Appalachian State game notes on Monday afternoon, but left the depth chart area blank. That should be made available prior to Franklin’s weekly press conference on Tuesday.