Dave Costlow started one season at center for the Nittany Lions in 2003. He spent most of his tenure backing up Joe Iorio, a very talented collegiate center. Prior to making his first start as a fifth-year senior in the fall of 2003, Costlow had already been named Big Ten all-academic three times and graduated PSU with a degree in Information Sciences and Technology. A star off the field, he completed an internship at Minitab, a statistical software company in State College, in the summer of 2003. Costlow returned to Minitab in 2008 and is currently the marketing manager.
Costlow and starting tackle Damone Jones, along with wide receiver Scott Shirley, founded Uplifting Athletes the summer prior to the 2003 season to benefit people with rare diseases. The annual weightlifting competition Lift For Life that will take place this year on July 16, is a result of the player’s thoughtfulness and generosity. There are now more than two dozen chapters of Uplifting Athletes around the country and as a result millions of dollars have been raised.
In Sports Illustrated’s College Football Preview in August of 2003 , Costlow was one of five players honored in the feature “The Smartest Players in College Football.” That’s quite a list of accomplishments considering he had yet to make his first start.
Once on the field the 6’3”, 280 pound center played solid while competing against heavier opponents on a regular basis. He was one of four new starters on the line that year, for a team that finished 3-9.
While the offensive line shared responsibility for the team’s struggles with the other units, it was a team in transition. Michael Robinson led the team in non-passing yards from scrimmage with 496, 396 rushing mostly from the backfield and 100 receiving. Zach Mills passed for 1404 yards and Robinson added 892. Five of Penn State’s losses were close games, with a margin of less than ten points, including a heart-breaking 21-20 loss at home to No. 8 Ohio State.
Were it for Costlow’s performance on the field alone, he would likely be remembered as a solid but forgettable one-year starter on a bad team. His contributions off the field will keep him in the conversation as being one of the most memorable Lions in recent history.
Just 61 more days until kickoff!