Penn State Football

Former Penn State LB Manny Bowen set to transfer for final football season

‘We want nothing but success for him and his future,’ Penn State coach James Franklin says

Penn State football coach James Franklin briefly touches on linebacker Manny Bowen, who recently left the team.
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Penn State football coach James Franklin briefly touches on linebacker Manny Bowen, who recently left the team.

Former Penn State linebacker Manny Bowen — who was kicked off the team, returned to the program in August and promptly left again — announced Wednesday morning that he intends to transfer elsewhere.

He is set to graduate in December and will be eligible to play at another school immediately afterward. He has one season of eligibility remaining.

“I am open to all options in the process of searching for a new University,” he wrote on Twitter. “Excited for a new place to call home.”

Bowen’s talent was undeniable — but so were his struggles off the field. In 2016, Bowen missed the Rose Bowl due to a violation of team rules. One season later, he was suspended three games, reportedly due to academic-related reasons, and then kicked off the team prior to the Fiesta Bowl.

The senior was allowed to return to the team Aug. 4 after reaching a number of unspecified “stipulations” set by head coach James Franklin. Bowen left about three weeks later, after Franklin said the senior wouldn’t start to open the season — even if he were one of the team’s best linebackers.

“This isn’t the NFL,” Franklin said during training camp. “This is about helping kids and preparing young men to be successful in life, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Bowen released a statement in August after leaving the program just 23 days after re-joining it. In it, he said he wanted to focus on academics full-time “as well as searching for the next best opportunity for me.”

He played in 35 career games and would’ve been the most experienced linebacker on the roster this season. The two-year starter finished his Penn State career with 134 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, four QB hurries and two forced fumbles.

“We love Manny,” Franklin said in August. “We want nothing but success for him in his future.”

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