Former Players Can Help Lead Penn State Back
About 340 former players sent Joe Paterno a greeting for his 85th birthday Wednesday. They did it to let their old coach know they still care about him and support him in his battle with lung cancer. And to thank him for all he did for them, their careers, their families, and their school.
These former Nittany Lions can do a lot to bring the football program back, too. Many of them had storied college careers, and a number did quite well in the NFL. Beyond that, quite a few made names for themselves, in fact continue to do so, in various careers owing to the solid education they got at Penn State.
These guys can sell wavering recruits on what Penn State has to offer, both on the field in tradition, and in the classroom. They can make the case the Nittany Lions have as proud a tradition as any school, and these recruits can be the ones to restore the image, by playing hard, winning, and joining whoever the new coach is in showing everyone the school is a class act.
Past stars like Jack Ham, John Capilletti, Franco Harris, Shane Conlan, LaVar Arrington, and current NFL players like Paul Posluzny, Tamba Hali, and Stefan Weisnewski can talk up the school and the thrill of playing in Beaver Stadium, and how they need guys to carry on the tradition established over the past 50 years.
It’s something the new coach can’t talk about. He has to sell the kids on what he can do for them in their college careers and make Penn State a top flight team again. But he could no doubt use the help of Nittany Lion legends past to accomplish the task.