Penn State redshirt junior Nick Sukay will not compete with the Nittany Lions again this season.
According to Sukay's former high school coach, Greensburg Central Catholic's Muzzy Colosimo, the Lions' starting safety indeed suffered a complete tear of his pectoral muscle on the opening kickoff against Illinois this past Saturday.
On the game's first play, Sukay streaked down the field and absolutely rocked Illini return-man Jack Ramsey, forcing a fumble.
According to Colosimo, Sukay immediately knew he was injured.
"It happened on opening kickoff but Nick played through it," Colosimo said. "He said he felt tingling in his fingers and the shoulder kind of went numb. He tried to keep going. He made a couple of tackles, but he said there was a play where a running back hit him and he just couldn't wrap his arm around him at all.
"He said he knew something was wrong. He kept shaking his arm and moving his fingers. Right away you think stinger. But every minute it got worse and worse and worse."
Leading the Lions with three interceptions on top of his 29 tackles, three passes defended and a forced fumble, the injury comes at an awful time for Sukay.
Coming off a nagging foot injury that hampered him throughout his Penn State career, Sukay was beginning to hit his stride this season.
"He was just playing so well," Colosimo said. "In the last three weeks or so he had three interceptions, I was so happy for him because it seemed like the foot injury was a thing of the past. I'm really sick about it."
Although team doctors have told Sukay that a return to the field this season is out of the question, Colosimo said Sukay is already gearing up for spring practice.
"If it had been a partial tear, he could play in three weeks, but it was a full tear of the pectoral," Colosimo said.
"(Spring practice was) all he was talking about. One thing about Nick, that class he was in here, I've never had a group work that hard ever. They did everything it took to become D1 athletes.
"He said he can't wait to get back in spring ball. He said he was making plays because he was feeling more comfortable about it."
Sukay joins Curtis Drake, Andrew Szczerba, Brandon Beachum, Garry Gilliam, Lou Eliades, Jack Crawford, and Gerald Hodges, as players who have been affected by serious injuries this season.