Two years ago, before he ever suited up for Penn State, Brian Gaia was one of then guys we almost lost. Widely rumored to be considering a transfer, the freshman defensive tackle later decided, along with the vast majority of the Nittany Lions, to return to State College. It's hard to imagine that Gaia thought that in a couple years, he'd be a possible starter--at offensive line.
Well, maybe the idea isn't that far-fetched. Gaia was a standout lineman in high school, making a pair of All-Star teams, and being rated highly at the position by the recruiting services. And he always had the versatility to help out where Penn State needed it--it's hard to remember, but we had about as little depth on the offensive line as we do behind Donovan Smith at OL now.
Gaia will have a chance to make a bigger impact on the offensive side than he did at DT--he redshirted in 2012, and had just 5 tackles in all 12 games a year ago. Competing with Derek Dowrey and Brandon Mahon for the two guard spots, he'll at least get a shot to start; if Herb Hand favors as deep a rotation as Mac McWhorter did, we'll be seeing plenty of #72.