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Dec. 30, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - Defensive end Deion Barnes (Philadelphia, Pa.) will forgo his final year of eligibility with Penn State to enter the NFL draft. The 2014 All-Big Ten honorable mention selection started every game this season and 30 contests in his career. Barnes graduated in December, earning his degree in recreation, parks and tourism management in just three and a half years.
"Can't believe I've walked my last time out of the tunnel," said Barnes. "I want to thank the Penn State family for being with me through the rough times. They're the best fans in the nation. I'm going to miss playing in front of 107,000.
"I talked with my family and we believe it's best for me to move forward and forgo my fifth year. I want to thank the fans one more time and I want to thank Penn State for the opportunity you've given me. This has been the best four years of my life. I love y'all so much."
"Our staff wants to thank Deion for all he's done here at Penn State and we wish him all the best in the NFL," Penn State head coach James Franklin said. "Deion has been great contributor for us on the field and earned his degree earlier this month. We're excited to watch him take the next step."
Barnes tallied 44 tackles this season en route to an All-Big Ten honorable mention selection. He also registered 6.0 sacks this season, which ranks tied for 14th in the Big Ten. His 12.5 tackles for a loss are good for 11th in the conference, while he led the Nittany Lions with three quarterback hurries.
A native of Philadelphia, Barnes finished his career with 98 tackles in three seasons. He also accumulated 14.0 sacks and 26.5 tackles for a loss during his time in the Blue and White. Barnes was the 2012 Thompson-Randle El Big Ten Freshman of the Year after contributing 26 tackles (10 TFL), 6.0 sacks and three forced fumbles as a rookie.
Additionally, Barnes was a consensus first team Freshman All-American in 2012, earning the honor from CBSsports.com, Sporting News, CollegeFootballNews.com, Fox Sports/Scout.com and Phil Steele's College Football. He also was selected honorable mention All-Big Ten by the coaches and media and was named to the ESPN.com and BTN.com Big Ten All-Freshman teams. Barnes played his high school football at Northeast High School in Philadelphia.
With the departure of offensive tackle Donovan Smith and Barnes for the NFL Draft, Penn State returns 16 starters (8 offense, 7 defense, 1 specialist) for the 2015 season. The Blue-White Game is Saturday, April 18 in Beaver Stadium. The Nittany Lions open the 2015 season on Saturday, Sept. 5 vs. Temple at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
Penn State season ticket renewals are underway for the 2015 campaign. There will not be any increase in the price of Penn State football season tickets or Nittany Lion Club donation levels for next season. For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing new 2015 season tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit www.PSUnrivaled.com, call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office weekdays, 10 a.m-6 p.m.
Penn State Football is on Twitter (@PennStateFball) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/PSUFball).