Penn State Athletics
Adam Breneman, shown at Penn State during the 2013 season, has rekindled his career at Massachusetts.

Ex-Penn State TE Adam Breneman’s career on uptick, wrestling team adds Michael Beard and more

We hope you’ll start your day with us here at the as we work to prepare you for everything that you need to know – Monday through Friday – around the world of Penn State sports. Whether it’s football, basketball, wrestling, hockey, baseball or just a wild story we hope you’ll find interesting, we’re here to share it all with you.

This is your Penn State Wake-Up Call for Thursday, May 18. Let’s get started.

Adam Breneman reborn

Adam Breneman announced in January 2016 that he was giving up football.

Once a promising tight end, he had graduated from Penn State a few weeks earlier, after missing most of his last two football seasons with the second major knee injury of his career.

A funny thing happened on the way to his new life, however: He resurfaced at Massachusetts as a graduate transfer, and in the process rediscovered that promise. That in turn has allowed him to rekindle his NFL dreams.

He caught 70 balls for 808 yards and 8 touchdowns for the Minutemen in 2016, and heads into his final collegiate season looking every inch a pro prospect. As he told’s Aaron Kasinitz:

“I owe a lot to the people at UMass for rejuvenating my football career in a way I didn’t think was possible a couple years ago.”

Breneman blew out his right ACL and missed the 2012 season, his last at Cedar Cliff High School, just outside Harrisburg, Pa. But in ’13 he had 15 receptions for 186 yards and 2 TDs at PSU. That includes a 68-yard scoring grab in the season finale at Wisconsin  the longest touchdown catch by a tight end in school history. Then an injured ACL cost him all of the 2014 season, and complications from the injury kept him out of all but three games the following season.

It really did seem like it was time to move on to other things. Apparently not, though, as he told Kasinitz:

“I don’t know if leaving Penn State at the time was the right choice, but looking back on it, it’s kind of all a part of the journey I’ve been on. It’s allowed me to be where I am, and I’m pretty proud of that.”

Wrestling team adds Michael Beard

Michael Beard of Malvern Prep in Philadelphia, the nation’s second-ranked 195-pound wrestler according to InterMat, announced via that he was verbally committing to PSU’s Class of 2018.

Three other members of the class – heavyweight Seth Nevills, Roman Bravo-Young (132 pounds) and Gavin Teasdale (126 pounds) – are also ranked second, according to Jim Carlson of, while Travis Wittlake (170 pounds) is third and Joe Lee (152 pounds) is eighth.

It is, of course, a case of the rich getting richer. The Lions have won six of the last seven national championships and will have most of last year’s title team back this winter.

In other wrestling news, two-time NCAA 149-pound champion Zain Retherford and former Lions star David Taylor both earned victories at the Beat the Streets event, an outdoor meet pitting a U.S. squad against a Japanese team in New York City.

Retherford topped Daichi Takatani 8-2 in the 65-kg bout, and Taylor pinned Takahiro Yamamoto in 1:19 at 86 kg.

Cole Miller wins regional

Lions golfer Cole Miller shot a three-round score of 7-under 206 to win the Washington Regional on Wednesday in Sammamish, Wash., and the team finished fifth to advance to the NCAA Championships.

Penn State has not earned an NCAA berth, nor had an individual regional champion, since 2010. T.J. Howe was the last to earn that distinction.

The NCAA championships are scheduled for May 26-31 at Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.

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