James Franklin announces Carl Nassib's status for TaxSlayer Bowl
We’ve seen a lot of Carl Nassib lately, but we’ve seen him in a suit and tie more than in a football uniform.
Despite the fact that the Penn State defensive end basically missed the final two games of the season with a leg injury, he spent most of December on the awards circuit. A total of five different cities and over 8,000 miles traveled in a 10-day stretch made it a busy time for the senior. He had more acceptance speeches than games played in the last month.
There was still concern that the extra time off wouldn’t be enough for Nassib to be ready for the TaxSlayer Bowl.
That concern is no more. The nation’s sack leader will be back in action for the Jan. 2 showdown against Georgia, Penn State coach James Franklin announced on Friday.
“We missed him,” Franklin said at his press conference on Friday.
That might be an understatement.
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Without Nassib against Michigan and Michigan State, the Lions were outscored 83-32. That didn’t even include the final drive against Northwestern, which saw the Wildcats march down the field and boot a game-winning field goal with Nassib sidelined.
The Lions only registered two sacks in the final two games after it spent most of 2015 as the nation’s leader in the category.
With Nassib back, they’ll look to flip that number around against a Georgia team that only allowed just over one sack per game.
The former walk-on will enter his final collegiate game having already won the Lombardi Award (nation’s top lineman), the Ted Hendrick’s Award (nation’s best end), and the LOTT Impact Award (player that best embodies the qualities of Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott). Nassib was also a consensus First-Team All-American.
He’s grateful for the opportunity to suit up one more time, but in a different way than he did the last month.
“It means everything,” Nassib told pennlive.com on Friday. “I just want to put the Penn State jersey on one last time and just kick some [butt].
“I just want to get out there and hit somebody really, really badly.”