Penn State's tight ends have often been the victim to injury. Now the injury bug has been caught by Adam Breneman, who is a Class of 2013 commit for the Nittany Lions. Breneman learned Friday that he tore his right ACL this week during a seven-on-seven camp.
Breneman injured his knee while going up for a seam route. Breneman said he heard something snap in his knee and had to wait until Friday to learn the MRI results, confirming the worst fear. Breneman will sit out his senior season in high school and begin rehabbing as quickly as possible.
Typically, ACL injuries can take up to a year to recover, and given the timing of the injury there would be a decent chance that Breneman would be able to participate in Penn State training camp next summer. At least in a limited capacity. But the question Penn State fans will want to know is whether or not he will be ready to play in 2013 or not. That, of course, remains to be seen.
There is a good chance he will be healthy enough to reach the field in the fall of 2013, but should he be rushed back? Or should Bill O'Brien take advantage of a redshirt season and make sure Breneman is in top shape? Placing a redshirt on a freshman is certainly not a new concept. Many freshmen on every campus will be redshirt to preserve their eligibility. In Breneman's case, that could be an advantage.
Expectations are high for Breneman. The nation's top tight end will come to Penn State with everybody ready to see what he can do. But if given the option of seeing a less than 100 percent Breneman seeing partial time on the field in 2013, using a year of eligibility in the process, or maximizing his potential production after a redshirt season and getting back to 100 percent and still having four years of eligibility remaining, which would you choose?
What we know about Breneman is he is a hard worker, and a focused and responsible individual. Fans should have every expectation that he will work through his rehab with his eyes set on getting on the field as quickly as possible. He is a football player, and he wants to play. That is appreciated.
But Bill O'Brien's job is to make the decisions that are best for the team not just for one season, but for multiple seasons. Breneman may be a prized recruit, but if the best chance to get the most out of him is to sit him down for one more season, then it is a decision that must be made.
We have a long time before that decision needs to be made of course, but it is something to keep in mind as Breneman begins to battle back the way so many Penn State players have before him. Players such as Jerome Hayes, Pete Massaro and Mike Mauti have done it.
Breneman will too.
Kevin McGuire is the host of the No 2-Minute Warning podcast, managing editor of Nittany Lions Den and a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook and add him to your Google+ circle.