Tuesday, we asked which player from a current college football team you would pick to play with the 2013 version of the Nittany Lion football team. In today's second part of that roundtable, we ask which past Penn Stater you would most want to suit up for one more year.
Cari: Michael Robinson, 2005.
What concerns me the most going into this season isn't the talent, or the coaching. Hell, it's not even the depth (though that is a concern). What I'm worried about?
Leadership. And MRob had that in spades.
Our 2012 team was so successful, on the field and in staying together off of it, mostly because of the leadership that came from the coaching staff and last year's senior class. There's a reason why O'Brien's been asked multiple times who's going to be the leader this year--because so far, no one has really emerged. And if MRob was on this team, that wouldn't even be a question--and we'd be contemplating division championship t shirt styles already.
bscaff: Mike Reid, 1969. Reid is the Paul Bunyan of tailgates. According to the old timers, Mike Reid once sneezed on a fourth down, and the wind gust from his sneeze blocked a punt. Frequently, he tackled all 11 offensive players by himself, for a six yard loss. He used the scoreboard to proof math equations, and the Blue Band came by his apartment to take music lessons on Sundays. For two straight seasons, opposing offenses never earned a single first down, with Reid lined up at defensive tackle. Reid stood 8 feet tall, weighed nearly 500 lbs, but moved like a jungle cat. Strength? The White Building used to be located near Rec Hall - until Mike Reid picked it up and walked it over to its present location. What you believe to be Neil Armstrong in a space suit on the surface of the moon is actually Mike Reid - NASA simply couldn't trust anyone else to get the job done. Who wouldn't want to see a guy like that on the field?
Devon: Michael Mauti. Because Michael Mauti.
No, but seriously, I'm taking 1994 Kerry Collins. He had a bunch of weapons on that stacked offense and rode them to an undefeated season and a 4th-place finish in Heisman balloting. Here, he'd have no Ki-Jana Carter, but a very solid running game, no Bobby Engram but a close substitute in Allen Robinson, no Kyle Brady, but plenty, lest you worry, at tight end. The offensive line probably isn't going to have 3 NFL draft picks (and 2 future pro bowlers), but it's plenty solid. And Bill O'Brien is just as good an offensive mind as Fran Ganter was. The biggest question mark on this team is the quarterback position, and taking the best one in Penn State history and putting him on a team that's stocked full of skill players would instantly take this team to the upper echelon of the Big Ten.
Adam: It's Paul Posluszny, and it's not really much of a contest for me. First, we need linebackers desperately. Second, who better than the best in the history of Linebacker U? 2005 Poz was explosive and dominant; a sideline-to-sideline terror who would immediately make this defense 100 times more effective.
Jared: I'm going with the greatest Penn State quarterback I've seen in my lifetime- Kerry Collins. A deep and talented stable of skill position players combined with Collins' lethal combination of a cannon arm and pinpoint accuracy would carve up opposing defenses all season long. There wouldn't be a game all season I'd be pessimistic about, including Ohio State. Speaking of the Buckeyes, Collins led the most amazing offensive explosion I've seen in a college football game- a 63-14 dismantling of a pretty good Ohio State team.
Old Nick: I think it's interesting how so many of us come back to that 2005 team, there were so many leaders, for me it has to be the criminally underrated Alan Zemaitis. I considered going with Kim Herring, but decided to choose CB over Safety. People forget how good that '05 secondary was in the BBDS defense, I would love to see Zemaitis inserted into Butler's aggressive set up and see the havoc he could create. On the other side of the ball, while I would interested to see how some players would fit in with this staff, like D-Will or Anthony Morelli, putting another leader in the secondary would allow more time to get pressure on the QB and create more big negative plays and turnovers.
Dan: Adam and Nick took the first two guys I could think of, so I'm going to have to go back a few more years and pick the first Penn State player that I remember just being in awe of.
This team needs linebacker depth and some people will say that the discussion for the epitome of Linebacker U starts and ends with Lavar. He didn't conform to the typical defenses that Paterno and former defensive coordinator [REDACTED] liked to employ, but he was good at what he did, making plays on the ball no matter where it went on the field. He was the inspiration for Bobby Boucher from The Waterboy because of his erratic yet productive style. FInally, he could type up any defense that he was quarterbacking and this year's team needs that emotional leader on the field.
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