Penn State could be without one of its best players for the 2020 season.
The school announced Monday night that running back Journey Brown “will potentially miss the 2020 football season” after a medical condition was “discovered during the offseason.” PSU said Brown is “being treated” for the condition but did not offer specifics.
"Journey Brown is being treated for a medical condition discovered during the offseason and will potentially miss the 2020 football season,'' the statement says.
Brown emerged as one of the Big Ten’s top running backs as the 2019 season progressed. In 10 starts, Brown rushed for 890 yards and 12 touchdowns on 129 carries, including a 202-yard effort in the Nittany Lions’ Cotton Bowl win over Memphis. Brown also caught 15 passes for 134 yards and a score in 2019.
Journey Brown went BEAST MODE to put Penn State in front pic.twitter.com/Vh7QdzQyxJ
— Yahoo Sports College Football (@YahooSportsCFB) December 28, 2019
Before 2019, the 5-foot-11, 215-pound Brown had just eight carries for 44 yards and a touchdown in his Penn State career. He was set to be a redshirt junior in 2020.
Brown, based on his late-season 2019 efforts, was considered to be one of the top returning running backs in the country. He’s also a player who has generated significant NFL draft buzz. When speaking with reporters earlier this month, Brown said he considered not participating this season but ultimately decided to play one final year at PSU before moving on to the NFL.
In Brown’s absence, Penn State has a stable of young running backs who will now see increased roles. Noah Cain and Devyn Ford, both sophomores, will likely be the top two options. Cain rushed for 443 yards and eight scores in 2019 while Ford had 294 yards and three TDs. Cain had back-to-back 100-yard efforts against Purdue and Iowa last October and went for 92 yards and two scores in the bowl win against Memphis.
Penn State also signed two four-star running backs out of the state of Florida, Caziah Holmes and Keyvone Lee, in the 2020 recruiting class.
Penn State, ranked No. 8 in the country, will open up its season on the road at Indiana on Saturday.
More from Yahoo Sports: