Penn State defensive end Smith Vilbert who has been out of game action all season has been cleared to play in the Rose Bowl, according to coach James Franklin during an event at Disneyland on Wednesday.
“He’s good to go,” Franklin said. “He’ll be ready for the game.”
“Obviously, he played really well last year (in the Outback Bowl).” Franklin added. “He’s done a great job training and lifting and doing all the things he needs to do all season long. But yeah, he’s available for the game.”
Vilbert, a redshirt junior, last saw game action on New Years Day 2022 when he recorded his only three sacks of his career in Penn State’s loss to Arkansas in last season’s Outback bowl game.
Vilbert was sidelined throughout the season for reasons that remain unknown. Vilbert was on the scout team in practice and was sidelines during some home games.
In an Oct. 4 press conference, he told reporters that he would not be available this season.
Smith (6-foot-5, 256-pounds) impressed coaches by working with scout team players occupied by freshman and walk-ons rather than a player that is a redshirt junior.
Vilbert will figure to be a depth piece in the defensive end rotation for Monday’s game Utah, but hopefully he can contribute more in the defensive end rotation in the future.