Penn State has named 24 players to the 2016 Leadership Council, which will serve as the voice of the team throughout the remainder of the year. The group includes standouts Saquon Barkley, Jason Cabinda, Chris Godwin and Brandon Bell among others. All classes are represented in the group that includes 12 seniors, six juniors, four sophomores and two freshmen. The group will meet with head coach James Franklin twice per month and serve as liaisons between the team and the staff.
"I am very excited about our Leadership Council this year," Franklin said. "They are a group of guys that are what we look for in Penn State football student-athletes and represent our four core values on a daily basis. The Leadership Council gives the team a strong voice with their teammates and our coaching staff."
In addition to those listed above, the Leadership Council is additionally comprised of seniors Derek Dowrey, Brian Gaia, Gregg Garrity, Malik Golden, Wendy Laurent, Paris Palmer, Evan Schwan, Jordan Smith, Von Walker, Nyeem Wartman-White and Tyler Yazujian; juniors Grant Haley, DaeSean Hamilton, Andrew Nelson and Garrett Sickels; sophomores Trace McSorley, John Reid and Nick Scott; and freshmen Ryan Bates and Tommy Stevens.
It should be taken as a positive sign that Penn State's foremost standouts are included on the Leadership Council, signaling that the leaders on the field are also providing valuable leadership and setting positive examples for the rest of their teammates. Whenever a star player is cutting corners and making poor decisions, it typically has a way of trickling down to the rest of the team.
Another positive takeaway is that the group includes two quarterbacks, McSorley and Stevens, who are competing for the starting quarterback position along with true freshman Jake Zembiec. This also marks another honor for linebacker/special teams ace Von Walker, who has been a valuable contributor on and off the field since entering the program as a true freshman walk-on in 2013.
Is it September yet??