Michigan State football will be without one of its top returners on defense this season.
Defensive end Jacub Panasiuk announced Wednesday he is opting out of the 2020 season due to concerns about the coronavirus. He intends to fulfill his senior season in 2021.
“After careful consideration and discussion with my family and coaches, I have decided to redshirt this upcoming season,” Panasiuk said via Twitter . “It is my intention to comeback and finish my senior year at Michigan State University. Our country is facing difficult times with many unanswered questions regarding Covid-19. Unfortunately, with the uncertainty of the effects of Covid-19, I cannot risk my health and safety in order to play football this season. During these tough times, I will support my teammates in any way I can.”
Panasiuk ranked third on the team last year in tackles for loss (8.5) and sacks (3.5). He’s Michigan State’s active leader in both categories.
The Spartans were forced to pause team workouts in July after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. Seven Michigan State student-athletes tested positive in the school’s most recent round of testing.
In Mel Tucker’s first year at the helm, the Spartans are slated to start the season Sept. 5 at home against Minnesota.