PENN STATE’S SICKELS DECLARES FOR NFL DRAFT
Penn State’s Sickels Declares for NFL Draft
Junior defensive end will forgo his final year of eligibility
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., January 4, 2017 – Defensive end Garrett Sickels (Red Bank, N.J.) will forgo his final year of eligibility with Penn State to enter the NFL Draft. The 2016 All-Big Ten second team selection started 24 games over the last two seasons.
“This journey has been an amazing ride from my commitment to Penn State in 2012 to this past Rose Bowl game,” Sickels said. “I have made friendships and bonds that will last a lifetime. I’m so unbelievably proud to call myself a Penn Stater. I take great pride in knowing me and my fellow classmates of the 2013 recruiting class have left Penn State in a much greater place then when we arrived.”
“After taking some time to reflect on this season and my career at Penn State, I am going to declare for the 2017 NFL Draft. This was not an easy decision by any means but I am excited for the next chapter. I want to thank Coach O’Brien for giving me a scholarship to Penn State. Coach Franklin, Coach Pry and Coach Spencer, thank you for pushing me every day and giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to play for the Blue and White. I will forever by a Penn State Nittany Lion.”
“Garrett has been an impact player on this team and a leader for us on the defensive front,” Penn State head coach James Franklin said. “He has been a positive influence on his teammates on and off the field, guiding a young defensive line and serving as the president of Uplifting Athletes. We wish him nothing but success in the NFL.”
The native of Red Bank, New Jersey claimed second-team All-Big Ten honors from the coaches and third-team laurels from the media this season. He was also named to the All-Big Ten third team by Phil Steele and Athlon Sports.
Sickels had career highs with 47 tackles, 6.0 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss this season on the way to all-conference honors. He garnered Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week honors following the Ohio State and Indiana games. Sickels was also selected as the team’s Most Valuable Defensive Player at the annual Nittany Lion Football Banquet.
In the Ohio State game, Sickels sparked the Nittany Lions with nine tackles, 2.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss in the second half of the upset win over the No. 2 Buckeyes. Against Indiana, Sickels has three tackles, all behind the line of scrimmage. He also starred against Michigan State, tallying eight tackles, including as a tackle for loss.
Sickels finished his career with 93 tackles, 11.0 sacks, 20.5 tackles for loss, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and one pass breakup. He served as the president/director of operations for Penn State’s Uplifting Athletes chapter, which has raised more than $1 million for rare diseases since the first Penn State Lift for Life in 2003.