Penn State LB Ellis Brooks reveals decision on NFL Draft, Outback Bowl
Penn State will be down its two leading tacklers for the Outback Bowl showdown vs. Arkansas.
On Friday, second-leading tackler Brandon Smith revealed he would be foregoing the bowl game to begin preparing for the NFL Draft. Smith finished the season with 81 tackles.
Then, leading tackler Ellis Brooks followed with his decision on Monday:
“My experience here at Penn State is something that I will always be extremely grateful for,” wrote Brooks on Twitter. “After having multiple conversations with my family members and coaches, I have decided to forego the bowl game to focus on getting healthy, as it’s now time to chase my dream of playing at the highest level and officially declaring for the 2022 NFL Draft.”
Dreams to Reality🙇🏾♂️ Love you Happy Valley, I’m forever in your debt!!💙🤍#WeAre pic.twitter.com/UYbIo8kngv
— Ellis Brooks (@ellis_brooks13) December 20, 2021
Brooks led the Nittany Lions with 100 tackles this season. Combined, Brooks and Smith posted 181 tackles, 12.5 TFL, and 3 sacks, leaving a big hole on the Penn State defense for the bowl game.
For now, Jesse Luketa has announced his intentions to play in the bowl game, but he left his status for 2022 up in the air. If Luketa joins Smith and Brooks in the NFL Draft, it will leave James Franklin and Manny Diaz with some key pieces to fill on the defense.