Jacub Panasiuk opts-in, will return for 2020-21 season


MSU defensive end Jacub Panasiuk/ Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Nathan Stearns, Football Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING- Jacub Panasiuk is returning after all.

Panasiuk, a two-year starting defensive end, sent a rather cryptic tweet on Friday afternoon that alluded to his eventual return on the football field. A short time later, an MSU spokesman confirmed that Panasiuk will indeed be opting back in for the 2020-21 season. 

The return of Panasiuk is a massive boost for a defensive unit that is sorely lacking in experience and depth. Panasiuk has by far and away the most game experience in the trenches and was projected as a major defensive contributor before opting out in August. Other than Panasiuk, only Naquan Jones, Jacob Slade and Drew Beesley saw action in all 13 games last season on the defensive line. Along with Antjuan Simmons, Xavier Henderson and Noah Harvey. Panasiuk will be tasked with mentoring a young, yet talented, defense without much game experience. 

Panasiuk is currently the team’s active leader in tackles for loss (18.5) and sacks (8). Last season, Panasiuk posted 34 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and five sacks, all of which were career highs. He has started in 24 games and appeared in 38 contests over his MSU career to go along with 80 career tackles and four forced fumbles.

With Panasiuk back in the fold for 2020, Jordan Reid, a two-year starter at right tackle who also decided to originally opt-out, is the only major piece left that could possibly return to MSU this season. A decision from Reid is expected soon.