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Penn State All-Americans Ki-Jana Carter, Michael Mauti are part of football-only NIL collective

Former All-Americans Ki-Jana Carter and Michael Mauti are serving as principals in the Lions Legacy Club, the first NIL collective focused exclusively on the Penn State football program.

The name, image and likeness initiative announced its formation Tuesday.

Former backup quarterback Chris Ganter, the son of longtime Nittany Lions offensive coordinator Fran Ganter, is serving as general manager.

“We appreciate all the people, whether they’re alumni, fans or donors, with all of the NIL opportunities and groups that are out there,” Penn State coach James Franklin said. “This one wanted to work with football. The other groups are doing that as well.

“We want to make sure they’re working together and doing what’s best for Penn State and Penn State Athletics as a whole.”

Earlier this year, five Penn State alumni formed Success With Honor with the blessing of the athletic department. It is the preferred collective of Penn State Athletics and benefits athletes in all 31 varsity sports.

Carter, the Heisman Trophy runner-up in 1994, helped lead Penn State to a 12-0 record, its first Big Ten football championship and a Rose Bowl win over Oregon.

“There hasn’t been a more exciting time to be a student-athlete than right now,” Carter said in a statement released by the collective. “The Lions Legacy Club is truly a special group with the expertise and passion to take Penn State football to new heights.”

Mauti was a linebacker and team captain in 2012 when he and others were credited for remaining loyal to Penn State in the wake of NCAA sanctions stemming from the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal.

“The heart of Penn State football lives strong in all of us,” Mauti said in a statement, “and we hope to share this passion with the fans, families and alumni that we will engage with to grow the organization.”

Allar update: Franklin declined to say whether freshman Drew Allar will remain the No. 2 quarterback for Penn State’s home opener against Ohio Saturday at noon at Beaver Stadium.

“We really haven’t made any decisions,” Franklin said. “Tuesdays and Wednesdays are our work days. That determines some moves that we may or may not make. Like I mentioned before, it’s a competition week in and week out. I don’t have that answer for you.”

The 6-5, 242-pound Allar played in the third quarter against Purdue when Sean Clifford was receiving intravenous fluids in the locker room because he was cramping.

Allar completed 2-of-4 passes for 26 yards, including a 15-yard completion to Mitchell Tinsley and an 11-yard toss to KeAndre Lambert-Smith.

Franklin had named him the No. 2 quarterback ahead of Christian Veilleux before the Purdue game.

Johnson unavailable: Penn State tight end Theo Johnson made the trip to Purdue last week, but he watched the game from the sideline in team-issued apparel.

“We were hoping that we had him available,” Franklin said, declining to say why he was out. “That’s not our call, but we were hopeful.”

Johnson, a third-year sophomore, played in every game last season with six starts and 19 receptions for 213 yards and one touchdown. He was expected to see a lot of time at Purdue because Franklin often used multiple tight ends, Tyler Warren joining Brenton Strange.

“Everybody knows how much of a big-time player he is,” Franklin said, “and how much respect we have for him on and off the field. Hopefully we’ll be able to get him back sooner rather than later. Hopefully that’s this week.”

Clifford recognized: Clifford was named Tuesday to the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award Great 8 for his performance against Purdue.

Clifford completed 20-of-37 passes for 282 yards and four touchdowns, including the game-winning 10-yarder to Keyvone Lee with 57 seconds left. He also ran for a 2-yard touchdown and threw an interception that was returned for a score.

He was selected the Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week on Monday.

Singleton’s numbers: Former Gov. Mifflin standout Nick Singleton officially finished with 31 rushing yards on 10 carries in his debut as a Penn State running back.

Purdue’s stat crew, which had an off night, initially credited Clifford with a 9-yard gain on Singleton’s first career run. The statistics were corrected and updated Friday night.

Source: Berkshire mont

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