James Franklin and Penn State are in Southern California preparing for Monday’s Rose Bowl Game against Utah.

One player that Nittany Lions fans haven’t heard much of is defensive end Smith Vilbert, who totaled 3 sacks against Arkansas in last season’s Outback Bowl against Arkansas. But he hasn’t played at all this season, with no mention being made of whether the redshirt junior has been hurt or is being disciplined for breaking team rules.

That said, it sounds as if he may finally see the field on Monday, as Franklin told reporters on Wednesday that Vilbert would be available to play against the Utes:

After a true freshman season that saw him play twice, Vilbert played 4 times in 2020 and was credited with a tackle. He totaled 7 tackles (including the 3 sacks against Arkansas) in 12 games in 2021, and it appeared that he’d be in line for a much bigger 2022 campaign.

While that hasn’t been the case with him not having played, we’ll see what Vilbert can offer to the Nittany Lions defense against a talented Utes opponent on Monday. Kickoff is at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN.