Pat Freiermuth had the option to declare for the NFL Draft. Twice. Both times, the Penn State tight end decided to return to Happy Valley to suit up for the Nittany Lions for another season.

There’s little doubt that Freiermuth was good enough to leave the program following the 2019 season. Regarded as one of the top tight ends in college football, Freiermuth ended the 2019 season with 507 yards and seven touchdowns on 43 receptions, ranking as Penn State’s second-best target.

Instead of opting for the NFL Draft, the tight end decided to return. And when the 2020 season was in question due to the ongoing pandemic, he continued to stay true to the Nittany Lions and decided to play during the 2020 season.

While meeting with reporters on Friday, Freiermuth explained why he made the decision to come back to Penn State.

“I made a commitment to Penn State that I’d come here, get my degree and play as long as I could,” Freiermuth said, according to Mark Wogenrich of Sports Illustrated. “At the end of the day, I still owe so much more to this Penn State community than it owes me.”

Freiermuth has played a critical role in Penn State’s offense over the last two seasons. He’s totaled 69 receptions for 875 yards and 15 touchdowns. Entering the 2020 campaign, the tight end will be one of the top contenders for the Mackey Award.

Penn State will open the 2020 season against Indiana on Saturday, Oct. 24.