Player Spotlight: Pat Freiermuth
With a huge matchup this Saturday against the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus, Ohio, the Nittany Lions will need key players like sophomore tight end Pat Freiermuth to come up big.
A native of Merrimac, Massachusetts, Freiermuth has been arguably Penn State’s best player on the offensive side of the ball. With 34 receptions, 424 yards, and a team-high seven touchdown receptions, Freiermuth’s importance and impact on the Nittany Lions cannot be understated. Many analysts from the media and members of the coaching staff have gone as far as to call Freiermuth the best tight end in the country.
Those in charge of deciding those honors think otherwise. On Monday, the list of semi-finalists for the John Mackey Award, an award given to the best tight end in college football, was released. On the list were eight of the premier tight ends in college football, however, Freiermuth’s name was not among those eight. Despite the surprising news, the Nittany Lion’s tight end is only using it as fuel for an already burning fire.
“I mean, obviously still motivated to win it. Obviously it's not going to be this year, it's going to be next year or the year after that,” Freiermuth said. “It's just going to fuel me to play harder and faster.”
The news surprised head football coach James Franklin, as he believes Freirmuth is one of the best tight ends in all of college football.
“I can't imagine there's eight tight ends in the country that people would choose ahead of Pat Freiermuth,” Franklin said. “Could there be a couple? OK, I can live with that. But eight? No.”
Ultimately, Freiermuth is not too concerned over the award as his focus is all on Ohio State.
“It is what it is, I can't control that now,” Freiermuth said. “My focus right now is on Ohio State, anything we can do to beat them, [and] the season moving forward.”
Mitch Broder is a sophomore majoring in digital print journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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