On day 38, we spotlight one of Penn State’s favorite linebackers, Ben Kline, a four-year letterman at Dallastown Area High School in York County, and a decorated sprinter on the track and field team.
After redshirting in 2011, Kline started his Penn State career in 2012. He recorded 18 tackles in 2012, and despite battling injuries in 2013, recorded 18 tackles that year including 1.5 tackles for loss and 1 sack. Kline missed most 2014 due to continued injuries, and got back onto the field during his 2015 senior season, appearing in seven games. In his career Kline played in 46 games with 19 starts.
Throughout his time at Penn State, Kline’s focus wasn’t just on football.
He graduated in December 2014 in just 3.5 years with a 3.76 GPA and degree in finance. During his academic career at Penn State, he was named to the Academic All Big Ten four times, named to the district all-academic team twice, and named a Rhodes Scholar nominee.
Kline’s volunteer work was notable, with Kline serving as president of the PSU chapter of Uplifting Athletes, raising more than $151,000 for the Kidney Cancer Association. In 2015, he was selected for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, nominated for various trophies for his community service, and chosen as the football team’s public service award winner with Matt Zanellato.
What many remember most is that Kline wrote a moving open letter after Bill O’Brien’s departure in 2013 to remind Penn State fans about the true heart of Penn State football – the student athletes.
Another moment from his senior season was when Ben Kline went a little over the top to get his teammates pumped up before the January 2 Tax Slayer Bowl against Georgia. If you ever wondered if Penn Staters really do bleed blue and white, turns out they bleed red, just like everyone else. <Warning: Don't try this at home, especially without a helmet; and due to some language it’s NSFW.>
What’s Kline doing now? Continuing to give back and working on the campaign for Braddock, PA’s mayor John Fetterman as he runs for U.S. Senate.