Former Penn State linebacker Manny Bowen — who was kicked off the team, returned to the program in August and left again before month’s end — announced Wednesday morning that he’s transferring to the Pac-12’s Utah Utes.
Bowen has one more season of eligibility left and will be available to play immediately.
“No matter what happens I will never have any regrets and look back on the past,” Bowen wrote on Twitter. “My eyes are focused on the road ahead of me. I am thankful for these experiences that have allowed me to grow and shape me in many different ways.”
No. 17 Utah is 8-3 this season and has already clinched a spot in the conference championship game. Although it runs the 4-2-5, both linebackers are seniors and Bowen will have an opportunity to start in 2019.
Bowen’s talent on the field was never in question at Happy Valley. But it was his antics off the field that caused frustration. In 2016, he missed the Rose Bowl due to a violation of team rules. And, one season later, he was suspended three games reportedly due to academic-related reasons and was then kicked off the team prior to the Fiesta Bowl.
He was allowed to return to the team Aug. 4 after reaching a number of “stipulations” set by head coach James Franklin. But he left three weeks later after Franklin said the senior wouldn’t start to open the season — even if he were one of the team’s best linebackers.
“We love Manny,” Franklin said in August. “We want nothing but success for him in his future.”
Bowen played in 35 career games, and the two-year starter finished his Penn State career with 134 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, four QB hurries and two forced fumbles.
He’s expected to graduate from Penn State next month.