LOS ANGELES, C.A.— PSU OT Olu Fashanu is a “game-time decision” ahead of Monday’s Rose Bowl, coach James Franklin told reporters in a joint press conference that also featured Utah coach Kyle Whittingham.
Fashanu, who was projected to be a first-round pick in the 2023 Draft before announcing his intent to return to Penn State, hasn’t played since the Ohio State game Oct. 29.
He missed Penn State’s last four games with an injury.
Franklin told reporters at Penn State’s bowl media day at Beaver Stadium Dec. 18 that the team planned to have Fashanu— as well as fellow offensive tackle Caedan Wallace and running back Keyvone Lee— available for the Rose Bowl. Wallace and Lee were seen practicing this week in the media’s viewing windows Thursday and Friday.
Franklin told reporters that Fashanu wanting to ensure that he made a strong recovery played into him deciding to come back to Penn State for 2023.
“We’ve had conversations with him and his family,” Franklin said, and part of Olu making his decision to come back was also about him being physically ready to play but also mentally ready to play. He does not want to rush back from this injury.”
If Fashanu can’t go at OT for PSU in the Rose Bowl, it’s likely that Drew Shelton will get the start, based on Penn State’s personnel without Fashanu. Shelton, a true freshman from Downingtown, Pennsylvania, started Penn State’s last four games and thus burned his redshirt, which wasn’t part of the coaching staff’s plan.