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Injury to Breneman will test Penn State's tight end depth

Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Penn State offensive coordinator John Donovan coaches tight end Adam Breneman during the opening day of spring practice Monday, March 17, 2014, in University Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Penn State offensive coordinator John Donovan coaches tight end Adam Breneman during the opening day of spring practice Monday, March 17, 2014, in University Park.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media - Penn State tight end Adam Breneman #81 is interviewed by reporters during Media Day festivities on Aug. 04, 2014, at Beaver Stadium in University Park. Penn State football coach James Franklin announced today that the tight end will be out indefinitely with an injury.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Trib Total Media</em></div>Penn State tight end Adam Breneman #81 is interviewed by reporters during Media Day festivities on Aug. 04, 2014, at Beaver Stadium in University Park. Penn State football coach James Franklin announced today that the tight end will be out indefinitely with an injury.

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Penn State coach James Franklin last week called tight end the position “where we have the most experience and depth.” That depth is going to be tested.

The university released a statement Monday saying sophomore Adam Breneman will be “out indefinitely with an injury.” The school provided no further details.

Breneman gave no indication he was dealing with an injury while speaking extensively with reporters at media day last week, and he was on the field for the portion of the first practice of preseason camp that was open to the media.

The 6-foot-4, 243-pound native of Mechanicsburg missed the latter part of spring practice because of a bone bruise in his knee, and a torn ACL in his right knee caused Breneman to miss his senior season at Cedar Cliff High School.

Breneman still was considered one of the top incoming tight end recruits in the country in 2013 and one of the top prospects in the state regardless of position. He forged a close friendship with quarterback and fellow blue-chip recruit Christian Hackenberg.

The two became the faces of an incoming 2013 recruiting class that earned national notoriety for sticking with Penn State after the NCAA levied harsh sanctions on the school in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

Breneman had 15 receptions for 186 yards and three touchdowns last season, scoring once during each of the final three games.

Unlike many other positions where the sanctions sapped the Lions' depth, Penn State's roster features a stable of tight ends among the best in the country.

South Allegheny graduate Jesse James is a potential NFL draft pick. Fellow junior Kyle Carter has 54 receptions in two seasons, and 6-6, 215-pound Mike Gesicki was one of the nation's highest rated tight end recruits this past year.

Brent Wilkerson (6-4, 245) also was a highly regarded when he arrived on campus two years ago, but he redshirted in 2012 and was injured all of last season.

“Our tight ends are deep, they're talented, and those guys probably have the most experience of any position on the field,” Hackenberg said last week. “They've done a great job in the offseason, and all of them are accepting their roles and understanding what their roles will be, especially guys like Jesse James and Kyle.”

Chris Adamski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at cadamski@triblive.com or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.

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