Royster returning to Penn State for senior season

University Park, Pa. — All-Big Ten tailback Evan Royster (Fairfax, Va.) announced Wednesday (Jan. 6) he will remain at Penn State for his senior season.

"I wanted to return to finish my degree and for my final year at Penn State," Royster said. "I'm looking forward to next season."

Royster is a Management Information Systems major and is on schedule to graduate in May.

He made his decision to return to Penn State without having his NFL draft status prospects known.

A two-year starter, Royster will be looked to for leadership and a continuation of his highly productive play for an offense that loses Big Ten Co-MVP Daryll Clark, the 2008 and '09 first team All-Big Ten quarterback, tight ends Andrew Quarless and Mickey Shuler and tackles Dennis Landolt and Ako Poti.

Royster has been one of the nation's premier tailbacks the past two seasons, earning 2009 first team All-Big Ten accolades, rushing for 1,169 yards in 2009. In 2008, the former Westfield High School All-Met selection was among 10 semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award and earned second team all-conference accolades after gaining 1,236 yards and scoring 12 touchdowns.

During the 2009 season, Royster started all 13 games and was instrumental in Penn State earning its second consecutive 11-2 mark. He gained 1,169 yards, second-highest in the Big Ten, on 205 carries and scored six touchdowns. His 5.7 average was best among the Big Ten rushers with at least 110 carries. Royster was sixth on the team with 16 receptions for 187 yards, scoring twice. He led the team with 1,364 all-purpose yards (104.9 ypg), ranking No. 3 in the conference through the regular season.

Royster gained a season-high 137 yards in the 20-0 win over Minnesota and had six 100-yard rushing games this season. He has 12 century-busting games in his career and the Nittany Lions are 12-0 when he breaks 100 yards.

Royster will enter the 2010 season with 2,918 career rushing yards, good for No. 8 in the Penn State record books. He needs 481 yards to break Curt Warner's school record of 3,398 yards, set during the 1979-82 campaigns. Royster needs just 82 yards to become the sixth Nittany Lion to eclipse 3,000 yards on the ground.

Penn State won its 27th bowl game, good for No. 3 in the nation, with a dramatic 19-17 comeback win over No. 13 LSU in the Capital One Bowl on New Year's Day. The Nittany Lions earned their third 11-win season in the past five years (15th overall under Joe Paterno).

The Nittany Lions are 51-13 (79.7) since the start of the 2005 season, tied for the nation's No. 7 winning percentage over that span (with West Virginia).

Paterno's squad returns 13 starters (7 O/5 D/1 S) for the 2010 season.

Statement from Penn State graduate Navorro Bowman, 2008 and 2009 First Team All-Big Ten linebacker:

"My coaches and the Penn State family have helped me become a better player on the field and a better person off the field. My family and I are very grateful for how I have developed as a player and as a man despite many obstacles. I am very proud that I earned my degree and contributed to successful seasons during my time at Penn State. I will miss my teammates, coaches and our fans, but will always be a Penn Stater no matter where I am."

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Last Updated November 18, 2010