Penn State linebacker and Dallastown alum Ben Kline is on this year’s Lott Impact Award watch list. Kline is one of 42 players on the list.
The award is named for two-time All-American and Pro Football Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, known as one of the fiercest hitters on the field when he patrolled the defensive backfield for the San Francisco 49ers during their championship days. The award is given to college football’s defensive impact player of the year and is based on “equal weight to personal character as well as athletic performance from a defensive player.”
Kudos to Kline for getting on this list. His making it is a testament to what he has shown in flashes during his oft-injured career in State College, as well as his 3.90 GPA in finance, and his presidency of the Penn State Chapter of Uplifting Athletes, which raises money to fight rare diseases.
Kline has starred over the past two years on special teams, and at times, has made plays at linebacker. He missed spring practice recovering from a torn pectoral muscle suffered late last season. If he can stay healthy, Ben would be a big help as a possible starter at linebacker, or at least providing much needed depth at the Lions’ thinnest position.
Kline has been slow and steady in his growth as a player at Penn State. That’s not surprising, as that’s how I saw him progress at Dallastown. He wasn’t one of those guys who instantly jumped out at you, like Chaz Powell did with his speed and moves at Susquehannock, or South Western’s Mike Felton, whose hits you could feel up in the broadcast booth. Kline would blend in at tight end and linebacker, until he made a play. Then he’d blend in again until he made another play. Then another. By the end of the game you’d realize he’d made more big plays than anybody else on the field.
The Lions could really use Kline’s football ability and veteran presence on the field for all 12 games this year. For most of the game, you might not notice him. Just every now and then you’ll see him make a play. Then another, then another. And, then you’ll realize he’s made quite a few.
Just like the Lott Award people did.Read More