This is one of those things that might not seem important on the surface, but it’s a pretty big deal to Penn State.
Safety Drew Hartlaub, a special teams maven who probably was Penn State’s fastest overall player the last few years, has entered the transfer portal, according to Lions247’s Sean Fitz.
— Sean Fitz (@seanfitz247) January 12, 2021
Hartlaub was a walk-on, but he has been super valuable for a while. He had 11 career tackles and two fumble recoveries, mostly on special teams. But he was a really big part of those coverage units the last two years, and when the Nittany Lions were among the best teams in the nation covering kicks and punts in 2019, Hartlaub and Dan Chisena were a big reason why. Chisena’s special teams play, in fact, earned him a spot on the Minnesota Vikings roster this season despite going undrafted.
Not sure Hartlaub will do that exactly — Chisena was much larger in frame than Hartlaub, a 5-foot-11, 170-pounder. But Hartlaub is said to have ripped off a 4.25-second 40, which is…
Technically, Hartlaub has two years of eligibility left, thanks to the NCAA policy granting everyone who played in 2020 an extra season. So, this is probably a good time to pursue a chance to perhaps play a bit more at safety and get some film, because that speed will play in the NFL. However, that shot to play safety certainly wasn’t going to come at Penn State, which will miss Hartlaub’s special teams play all the same.
Donnie Collins has been a member of The Times-Tribune sports staff for nearly 20 years and has been the Penn State football beat writer for Times-Shamrock Newspapers since 2004. The Penn State Football Blog covers Nittany Lions, Big Ten and big-time college football news from Beaver Stadium to the practice field, the bowl game to National Letter of Intent Signing Day. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5368; @DonnieCollinsTT