As Penn State’s defensive line prepares to face the top rushing offense in the Big 10, it will be without a defensive tackle for half of the game.
Defensive tackle Fred Hansard is suspended for the first half of Saturday’s game against Michigan at Beaver Stadium after shoving Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa to the ground on the sidelines in the third quarter of last Saturday’s 31-14 win at Maryland. Coach James Franklin announced this in his weekly Tuesday press conference.
Hansard, who was not in the game, pushed Tagovailoa after the QB ran past him on the Penn State sideline. Although the refs didn’t throw a flag, video surfaced, and on Monday, Hansard apologized via social media.
“It was truly an act of impulse and not malice,” he wrote. “I did not and would not try to intentionally try to hurt another player. I believe in the integrity and the rules of the game.”
Hansard also apologized to offensive linemen Rasheed Walker, who shares the number 53 with Hansard.
Franklin wasn’t aware of the incident until seeing it after the Maryland game. While he said that the “optics of it don’t look great” and that the clip was “not a good look,” he spoke highly of the person Hansard is overall.
“Fred Hansard’s been here for four years. He has been a model citizen and a model student-athlete. He’s a super impressive young man who is going to go on and do great things.
“I don’t think Fred had any intentions to do anything to hurt another player.”