When the Penn State football team was hit with NCAA sanctions last summer, players were given the opportunity to transfer out of the program without penalty. Most of the Nittany Lions decided to stay on board.
Now Garry Gilliam is taking it to another level. The Carlisle, Pa., native was recently requested and was granted a sixth season of eligibility from the NCAA due to medical hardship. So he has effectively signed on to be at PSU longer.
I've very excited to be able to continue to help Penn State and be a part of such an important period in our history, Gilliam said.
After missing half of the 2010 season and the entire 2011 season due to a torn left ACL (and complications arising from surgery to repair the injury), the tight end returned to action in 2012 as an academic senior with junior eligibility. Gilliam redshirted as a true freshman in 2009.
Being granted an extra year means Gilliam will be eligible to play in the 2013 and 2014 seasons. And he will be doing so at a new position.
Gilliam was an eight-game starter in 2012, manning the Y tight end position. Primarily a blocker, he had seven catches for 65 yards.
This offseason, the 6-foot-6 Gilliam is making the move to offensive tackle. He played at 277 pounds last season but is already near 300 pounds now, according to Penn State Athletic Communictions..
Gilliam won Academic All-Big Ten honors in 2012.