James Franklin confirmed Friday that Penn State defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos and running back Journey Brown are suspended this summer for a violation of team rules at the end of the spring.
“Yetur was suspended from the team for a violation of team rules at the end of spring through the summer, and we’re expecting him back Aug. 1,” Franklin said.
Franklin said he’s remained in touch with Gross-Matos during the suspension.
“I talk to him all the time,” Franklin said. “He’s doing great. He’s working out, he’s with the family and doing really good.”
Franklin didn’t offer details as to what prompted the suspensions, and when asked about Gross-Matos’ status upon his return, Franklin said, “He’s suspended right now for a violation of team rules, and once he comes back, we’ll make those determinations.”
Gross-Matos enters this season as one of the nation’s most discussed pass rushers. Thursday, he was designated a Big Ten preseason honoree, and he was named to the Bednarik Award watch list earlier this week.
Brown rushed for 44 yards and one touchdown on eight carries last season. The Meadville High graduate tallied his first collegiate touchdown on a 6-yard run against Maryland last November.
Reid confident about senior season
John Reid’s 2017 season was cut short after suffering a knee injury during the spring practice. He returned for Penn State’s 2018 season opener against Appalachian State and finished with one tackle. He ended the season with 24 tackles and two interceptions, and logged playing time in 11 contests.
Now fully healthy, Reid said his return to form last year was a progression as he had to learn to reacclimate his knee and body to the game.
“I think it just slowly started to happen over the course of the season,” Reid said. “Just continuing to improve and getting my instincts right and being able to react quickly to plays like how I was before. The reaction was more so just because I hadn’t seen it a lot. I had been out of football for a year, so I just really needed those reps.”
Reid was a Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year nominee in 2018.
A day after appearing on Tim Kawakami’s podcast and saying, “Urban Meyer has a winning record, really phenomenal record everywhere he's been. Also, controversy follows everywhere he's been," Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh doubled down during his podium session on Friday at Big Ten media days.
When asked about the comments and if he cared to add context to what was said, Harbaugh answered, “No, I don't see any — no context you should know about. I don't think it was anything that was anything new or anything of a bombshell. It's things that many of you all understand and have written about.”
Meyer retired at the end of the 2018 season and went 4-0 against Harbaugh.
Penn State senior punter Blake Gillikin was nominated to the Allstate AFCA Good Works team earlier this week. The service-oriented award considers student-athletes’ work in their communities and their academic accomplishments.
Gillikin is Penn State’s sole 4.0 grade-point average football player, and has spent his summer accumulating 270 hours interning at a State College physical therapy clinic and shadowing Penn State’s orthopedic surgeon.
“That’s a tremendous honor,” Gillikin said. “There’s so much more than just playing football and going to school, and being on this stage, you can just affect change in so many different ways. We'll go out in the community, and we’ll visit children’s hospitals up in Pennsylvania. We’ll go to schools and read to kids and answer questions and give them our perspective. That’s the really unique thing about being a college football player — you can affect change on a platform, and people who don’t use that platform are kind of wasting the time they’re given.”
From State College with Love
Vince and Margie Dadamo’s 49th wedding anniversary coincided with Big Ten Media Days, so the State College residents decided to make the trek to Chicago to celebrate both.
“Penn State invited us out to media day, so we decided we’d combine the two,” Vince Dadamo said.
Thursday afternoon, the couple milled about the lobby of the Chicago Hilton decked out in Penn State shirts.
“Tuesday, there was nobody here,” Margie Dadamo said. “Wednesday, a little bit more, but (Thursday) is when they’re here… There might be a lot of Penn Staters who live in the Chicago area who are going to show up (Friday).”
Penn State coach James Franklin and players Cam Brown, Blake Gillikin and John Reid arrived in Chicago on Thursday morning, and it didn’t take Margie Dadamo long to spot the Nittany Lion trio.
“I just had my picture taken with the three players; they got in today,” Margie Dadamo said on Thursday. “Our three players had just gone into their rooms — they came out this morning. That was fun.”
As Penn State’s football program readies for its 133rd year, Vince Dadamo said events such as media days helps spark fan interest and anticipation across all fan bases.
“It’s the kickoff for the season, so everybody gets pumped up,” Vince Dadamo said. “Everybody’s excited and undefeated at this point.”
A pair of Penn State players appeared on preseason watch lists on Friday when sophomore tight end Pat Freiermuth and redshirt sophomore Michal Menet were named to the Mackey and Rimington Trophy watch lists, respectively.
Menet posted 12 starts at center last season as Penn State ended the year ranked No. 16 in FBS in red zone offense. Freiermuth tallied 368 yards receiving and eight touchdowns last season.