A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Former Penn State linebacker Paul Posluszny retired from the NFL on Tuesday.

Two former Penn State football players retire; why Nittany Lions were shut out of NCAA Tournament

Penn State football is the No. 1 topic in We are… Awake every day — but we cover news, notes and analysis from across Nittany Lions sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Penn State football, recruiting, basketball and more.

Calling it a career

Paul Posluszny helped Penn State rise out of a pair of losing seasons in the early 2000s and parlayed that into an NFL career stretching more than a decade. On Tuesday, a couple of months after helping the Jacksonville Jaguars to the AFC title game, the 2013 Pro Bowl selection retired from the NFL at age 33.

Posluszny released a letter on Jaguars.com to offer his heartfelt thanks and step away from the game.

Also exiting

Adam Breneman came to Penn State and many thought he would go down in history as one of the best tight ends to play in Happy Valley. His career did not pan out that way. Brenneman ultimately left football for a brief career in politics, then returned to UMass where he caught 64 passes for 764 yards and 4 touchdowns last season.

On Tuesday, Breneman also walked away from the game, writes the Centre Daily Times’ John McGonigal.

MORE: Want this roundup in your inbox every morning? Sign up here

Targets in sight

Penn State is after another quarterback and hopes to add a JUCO lineman to its recruiting class for 2019. Anthony Whigan is the latest JUCO lineman who Nittany Lions coach James Franklin is looking at, writes Land of 10’s Tyler Donohue.

Donohue also writes that Penn State is after quarterback Taisun Phommachanh, who is expected to shorten his list of schools later this month.

Looking for time

Miles Sanders expects to be the No. 1 running back on the Penn State depth chart when the Blue-White game comes around in April. But Franklin must also find depth at running back. Freshman Ricky Slade expects to get snaps, too.

Victory Bell Rings’ Collin Weider writes that Mark Allen could give Franklin the depth he needs.

Cupcakes for all

So why did Penn State miss out on the NCAA Tournament while another subpar effort by Syracuse got the Orange in, at least the to the First Four?

Pennlive’s David Jones says the answer is simple, Penn State’s schedule, filled with cupcakes, ultimately the Nittany Lions’ their chances.

Miss previous editions of the Wakeup Call? They can be found here.