STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) _ Safety Shawn Mayer, who had figured heavily in Penn State's plans this year, will miss the season because of a knee injury suffered in practice.

Mayer tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during Friday's practice, Dr. Wayne Sebastianelli said. He will have surgery next week and rehabilitation should take about nine months, Sebastianelli said.

The 6-foot, 197-pounder from Hillsborough, N.J., played in every game last season.