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Former Penn State Starter Announces Transfer Destination

James Franklin high fives his players as they come off the field.

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02: Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin reacts on the sideline during the first half against the USC Trojans during the 2017 Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 2, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Former Penn State football starting linebacker Manny Bowen will be heading West to continue his college football career.

Bowen last played for the Nittany Lions in 2017, when he started nine games for the team. That followed a 12-start season in 2016, when he was a sophomore.

He was removed from the Nittany Lions team in the week ahead of last season's Fiesta Bowl. He was eventually reinstated, but in August, Bowen announced that he had stepped away from the team to focus on academics.

Bowen was a pretty big recruiting win for James Franklin's staff back in the class of 2015. The former four-star linebacker was the No. 19 recruit at his position in the country.

Manny Bowen has graduated from Penn State, and will finish his career as a member of the Utah football program.

Bowen made the announcement this morning.

As a graduate transfer, he should have immediate eligibility for the Utes defense in 2019.

Utah is having a very strong season under Kyle Whittingham this fall. The Utes have won the Pac-12 South for the first time since joining the Power Five league.

The Utes are 8-3 overall, with a 6-3 Pac-12 record, and will face the winner of Friday's Apple Cup between Washington and Washington State in the conference title game. Utah finishes its regular season with a non-conference rivalry class with BYU.