Is Sixth Year In Play For Penn State's Wartman-White?

After returning from an injury, the veteran's short-term goal is simple: "I want to hit somebody." But there is still much to be determined about his long-term future.

CHICAGO — There are plenty of questions surrounding Penn State fifth-year senior linebacker Nyeem Wartman-White as he returns from a knee injury that cost him all but a handful of plays last season. And he tackled many of them at Big Ten Media Days here Monday.

After playing middle linebacker before the injury last season, would he prefer to man that position or the outside slot he manned earlier in his career.

“I want to play linebacker,” he said. “It doesn’t matter — outside, inside — I want to play linebacker.”

And after missing nearly two full seasons due to injury (he was lost after two games as a true freshman in 2012), does he intend to petition the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility?

“I have no clue,” he said. “There have been discussions — I’ve heard people talk about it. But I don’t know the process.”

So any choice in the matter will be made after the 2016 season.

“I feel like that will be a game-time-decision type of thing,” Wartman-White said before breaking into a smile. “I mean, six years of school — that’s a long time. Imagine being somewhere for six years. 

“I love Penn State,” he added. “Love it. But imagine being somewhere…”

Coming into play is Wartman-White’s academic status — namely, he is way ahead of the game. In December, he graduated with a degree in telecommunications. So he began working on another undergraduate degree and will likely earn that next spring.

“If I received a sixth year, since I passed up graduate school this time, I’d probably go to graduate school,” Wartman-White said.

But again, that is a decision for sometime down the road. For now, he is focused on one thing.

“I want to hit somebody,” he said. “That’s all I want to do. I want to hit somebody.”


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