Arnold Ebiketie declares for NFL, will skip Outback Bowl

Another day, another key Penn State player declaring for the NFL and skipping the Outback Bowl. On Tuesday, Penn State defensive lineman Arnold Ebiketie officially announced his plans for his future by declaring for the NFL. As a result, Ebiketie says he will not play for Penn State in the Outback Bowl against Arkansas in Tampa this weekend.

“It’s been an honor to suit up in the Blue & White with this legendary fan base cheering us on,” Ebiketie said in a statement posted to his Twitter account on Tuesday afternoon. “With that being said, I have decided to forgo our bowl game and declare for the 2022 NFL Draft. From one dream to the next, I thank every person who has supported and helped me make this dream a reality.”

Ebiketie transferred to Penn State after a solid career with the Temple Owls. Ebiketie thanked Temple University for helping him reach this point and for the support he received during his time with the Owls.

Ebiketie fit right in from the start at Penn State and moved right into a starting role on the defensive line alongside PJ Mustipher. Ebiketie came up with many timely plays for the Penn State defense, including a blocked field goal in a season-opening win at Wisconsin. Ebiketie earned All-Big Ten honors during his one season in Happy Valley and is considered a rising prospect in the NFL draft pool. Some mock drafts have even floated the idea of Ebiketie being a first-round draft pick.

Ebiketie is the fourth starting player on the Penn State defense to opt out of the Outback Bowl. His decision comes a day after safety Jaquan Brisker made a similar decision. Starting linebackers Brandon Smith and Ellis Brooks previously opted out of the bowl game and declared for the NFL. Wide receiver Jahan Dotson has also declared for the NFL and opted out of the bowl game.

Penn State faces Arkansas in the Outback Bowl on Saturday, January 1, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. ET.

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