How many hours? Over the past five years - it has to be a ton. Summer workouts, fall camp, spring conditioning, practice after practice after practice. And now it's rapidly coming to an end.
These seniors have practiced and played for four head coaches over the past five seasons. They assembled in Lasch to watch Mark Emmert's sanctimony. They had 100 different D1A coaches calling them, and Tim Beckman knocking on their apartment door. They had their names put on their jerseys, then taken back off. Three different strength coaches. Different trainers, different doctors, Spider's retirement, three different athletic directors, a funeral, no bowls, got bowls, three different offensive systems, playbooks, terminology, gameday music, giant video boards, tweeter and spacebooking rules, and on, and on.
But adversity works a special psychological alchemy that forges unbreakable bonds. Impurities burn off, leaving hardened steel. This brotherhood, surviving unprecedented challenges, will last a lifetime, in their hearts and our memories.
95 - Carl Nassib - West Chester, PA
Sure, he's the nation's sack leader, and holds the Penn State single season record. But just look at him blow up this run.
35 - Matthew Baney - State College, PA
Matt Baney must really love football. Years of taking lumps as a walk-on, running scout team, for a handful of reps - maybe - on Saturday. But you get out there, blanket your responsibility (the checkdown), and the QB gets sacked, thanks to your coverage - which, of course, will go unnoticed by fans (except here at BSD).
91 - Tarow Barney - Bainbridge, GA
It's been a long journey to State College for Tarow - certainly longer than the path he traveled to this strip-sack below.
20 - Jordan Dudas - Lake City, PA
Fly down the field at 20 mph and smash into things. That's the job. Dudas did it well.
27 - Brandon Johnson - Harrisburg, PA
Another walk-on, with years of practice, all culminating in one big run.
9 - Jordan Lucas - New Rochelle, NY
Jordan lost a year, being forced into action as a true frosh because there were almost no DBs on the roster in 2012. And now he lost part of his true senior season to injury. In between he made a ton of plays. Here's a big one that we'll always remember.
10 - Trevor Williams - Baltimore, MD
It's hard to believe Trevor looked like a promising wide receiver as a true freshman, just four seasons ago. Here's a play from 2014, where the experienced vet - who didn't need to be in the area, responsibility-wise - sank deep on recognition, and made a great play on the ball.
98 - Anthony Zettel - West Branch, MI
This guy gave us 1,000 gifs, on and off the field I'll always remember this one, for broadcast commentator Glen Mason's explanation. Glen drew a circle around Zettel, rolled the tape, and described the move with a single word: "...wow..."
87 - Kyle Carter - Bear, DE
If it was a contested catch, and required acrobatic body control, #87 was coming down with it. There was the big fourth down conversion at Kinnick in 2012. And there's this one - the game winner against Boston College.
38 - Ben Kline - Seven Valleys, PA
Injuries. But also this: a 2x Academic All-Big Ten selection, a 3.75 gpa in Finance, a Rhodes Scholarship nominee, Lift For Life President, and perhaps best of all, re-introducer of the neck roll, way back in 2013.
68 - Kevin Reihner - Scranton, PA
He spent 4 years at Stanford, but wisely chose to return home and don the blue and white, like his father. Here's Kevin snapping the pill, pulling, and running into someone.
66 - Angelo Mangiro - Roxbury, NJ
Mangiro played center, left guard, and right tackle, all in the same game, against Ohio State in 2014. Here he is, back in the pivot, leading Akeel Lynch to daylight.
80 - Matt Zanellato - Burke, VA
Just when you thought Z would make his way into the starting lineup, he got shuffled behind some incoming recruits. But he didn't flinch, and carved out a role on teams - one that he played very well.