Shane McGregor gained fifteen total yards during his Penn State career, twelve through the air and three on the ground which went for a touchdown in the 2011 season opener against Indiana State. He wasn't a star on the field. He probably wasn't expected to be after walking on to the team from tiny Ebensberg, Pennsylvania, a city most people just make a pit stop in at the Sheetz on their way from Pittsburgh to State College. But Shane was as much of a Penn State football player than anyone else who has ever donned the blue and white, a true example of the Grand Experiment.
Shane starred on the scout team during his time at Penn State. It's a guy every team needs, someone to step back and replicate the Dan Persa-s and the Kirk Cousins-s of the Big Ten. But his off-field accomplishments were even more important.
On Sunday, at the football team's banquet, Shane as honored with the Nittany Lion Club Academic Achievement Award for being the senior with the highest GPA. McGregor has earned a 3.85 while double-majoring in English and journalism during his academic career at Penn State. He was selected to report from last year's BCS National Championship game. He danced in THON 2012. He won a national sports-writing essay competition by writing about the man who taught him to worry about excelling in the classroom before the field, one Joe Paterno. He has said he wants to write a novel where Jesus Christ comes back to Earth in the form of a basketball star.
He's the epitome of what a Penn State football player should be.
Now, I would be remiss not to mention the one thing that set McGregor apart from his teammates and maybe the Penn State community at large during his time at the university.
It's like they cloned Sunshine from Remember the Titans and stuck him in the middle of central Pennsylvania. Girls wanted to be with him and guys wanted to be him because of it. Even after taking off his helmet, those golden locks looked like they were protected while still inside by some existential force. It's magical really. While Cari and the rest of the Divas lick their chops over Michael Mauti and Mike Zordich, I'm masculine enough to say that I've swooned in Shane's presence. And don't tell me that you haven't because you're a damned liar if you do, no matter if you're a man or woman or which way your door swings.
So, for all your accomplishments on and off the field and lighting up a room with those locks made from an angel's harp strings, the staff at Black Shoe Diaries and the Penn State public at large thank you, Shane. We'd wish you luck, but it's highly doubtful you need any.
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