The offensive line group for the 2023 NFL draft is one of the stronger ones in recent memory and in this specific draft cycle. However, the class took a heavy hit on the talent side when Penn State's Olu Fashanu announced his decision to stay at State College for at least one more season.
"Although playing in the NFL is a goal of mine, there is still more that I want to achieve personally and collectively as a program," Fshanu said in his released statement on his Twitter account on Monday evening. "After several conversations with my parents and coaches, I will be returning to Penn State for the 2023 season."
Before the season, Fashanu was expected to be a leader of a young offensive line group. For Fashanu specifically, being just 19 years old as a redshirt sophomore, many were curious about what growth they would see from him.
What everyone got was a level of development that usually isn't seen by players at his age.
Every major draft site and network had Fashanu as a top player on their offensive tackle rankings. Sites such as The Draft Network, ESPN, and The 33rd Team all had their scouting departments raving about Fashanu.
Draft Network stated "Penn State offensive tackle Olumuyiwa Fashanu has the kind of raw skill set and physical tools that simply can't be coached…we all know what kind of restraint the NFL usually shows in these kinds of cases when the NFL draft rolls around…"
The 33rd Team's scouting department has Fashanu ranked as the eighth best player overall in the potential draft class of 2023. Specifically, he ranks as their second overall tackle prospect behind Northwestern's Peter Skoronski.
The NFL's loss is Penn State's gain.
Drew Allar, Nick Singleton, and Kaytron Allen will all be faces of the offense next year. An offense that was going to miss Fashanu had he declared, but now they get to rely on him once again to clear paths for the star running backs and the upcoming star passer.
Big things are on the horizon for the 2023 Nittany Lions, and today is the start of all that when we look back a year from now.
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Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire