Jacub Panasiuk announces return for 2021 season


Jacub Panasiuk battles at defensive end vs. Rutgers/ Photo Credit: Ian Gilmour WDBM

Sutton Magee, Football Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING— Jacub Panasiuk, one of Michigan State’s premier pass rushers, has decided to return to MSU for another year. The 6-foot-4, 250-pound defensive end announced his return on his Instagram page. 

Although Panasiuk is a senior, the NCAA enacted a measure in August that allows for student-athletes to preserve their eligibility as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  As a result, seniors like Panasiuk can retain their eligibility for another season if they so choose. 

Getting Panasiuk back was really important for Mel Tucker after Naquan Jones and Antjuan Simmons declared for the NFL Draft. Both of those players were huge run stoppers, so having a familiar face in the trenches should allow defensive coordinator Scottie Hazelton and defensive line coach Ron Burton to sleep better at night. 

Panasiuk is a battle-tested veteran who has started the last three seasons at defensive end. He is the Spartans’ active leader in career sacks (nine) and tackles for loss (21).  In 2020, he totaled 25 tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss, and a sack. 

Jacub Panasiuk wraps up Michigan QB Joe Milton/ Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Panasiuk has also recorded nine sacks and 103 tackles in his four years as a Spartan.  

Panasiuk will lead a defensive line next year that will have some new faces; his leadership will prove vital. Defensive ends Michael Fletcher and Jack Camper, as well as defensive tackles Jacob Slade, Jaylen Hunt and Dashaun Mallory, are a few names to look out for going into next season. 

The defensive line has always been MSU’s calling card, and having Panasiuk back in the fold will significantly assist a Spartan defense that has already lost three defensive leaders (Simmons, Jones and Shakur Brown) to the draft.