PJ Mustipher to return to Penn State for 2022 season

Nittany Nation

Penn State defensive tackle PJ Mustipher talks with one of his teammates during warm ups before playing Illinois in an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa. on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WHTM) — Defensive tackle PJ Mustipher will return to Penn State for his fifth season in 2022. The senior captain missed the second half of the 2021 season due to an injury.

Mustipher announced his decision via Twitter on Tuesday. The d-tackle says he’s extremely grateful to be a student-athlete at Penn State.

“This past year didn’t end the way I had expected, and I look forward to pursuing the goals we have set out as a team, as well as the goals I have for myself,” Mustipher said in his post. “I am going to use my extra year of eligibility and return to Penn State for my fifth year.”

The 6-foot-4, 326-pound lineman was injured in the first half of the Iowa loss, and was on sidelines for the rest of the game using crutches.

“PJ will be out for the season,” Franklin said. “I thought the guys that went in behind did some good things. Obviously PJ, we think, is an elite-level player, so they still got work to do. But I thought overall those guys did some good things.”

The Penn State captain started 15 straight games for Penn State and totaled 21 tackles (three for loss) plus one sack last season.

Mustipher played a critical role for this Penn State defense that has always had strong leadership on the defensive line. His ability to transform his body and excel at his position has also been widely talked about coming into the 2021 season.

“He dominated the conditioning test; could’ve probably passed it with the linebackers,” Franklin said. “I think his wrestling background has been huge for him. His mental and physical toughness is phenomenal. He’s got a great motor. He understands leverage. I love him. I’m a huge fan of PJ.”

Mustipher joins fellow captain and future fifth-year senior Sean Clifford in announcing their return to Happy Valley for the 2022 season.

Penn State finished the 2021 season with a 7-6 record, and a loss to Arkansas in the Outback Bowl.

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