Senior Day has always been one of my favorite Penn State (and all of college football, really) traditions. Each November, we bid farewell to a group of student-athletes who have been with the program for the past four or five years. Some players leave as All-Americans, while others may have never seen a down of playing time, but either way, they were able to live out their dream and created a lifetime of memories and camaraderie.
It’s also a reminder of how quickly time has gone, and perhaps gives us an opportunity to reflect on what we’ve accomplished the past several years while these young men were preparing to enter adulthood and whatever may be coming next. Many of us can probably remember the siren posts for players like Mike Gesicki or Curtis Cothran, and in what seems like a blink of an eye, they have now played their final game in Beaver Stadium.
The senior class that was honored on Saturday against Nebraska will always hold a special spot in the hearts of Nittany Lion fans. They made the difficult decision to come to a program that they believed in, despite harsh NCAA sanctions that would make their journey that much more arduous. There will be more on this later as we reflect back on the conclusion of the 2017 season, but it’s easy to understand how these players made a significant impact on the trajectory of the program and helped us remember that anything is possible by earning one of the most unlikeliest of conference championships in recent memory.
So now I give you a nearly impossible task- which of the senior class will you miss the most? Not just their impact on the field, but which player or players have you especially enjoyed watching and following during the past several years?
After much consideration, I may have to go with Jason Cabinda. Penn State’s leader of the defense began contributing in 2014 before moving in a starting role the past three seasons. He may not have been one of the greats to come out of Linebacker U., but not many had the same passion for the game as Cabinda. He brought an unmatched enthusiasm, and had a penchant for feeding off the Beaver Stadium atmosphere to make incredible, highlight-reel plays like this:
Plus, have you thought about what the middle linebacker spot will look like for Penn State next year? Yikes.
So what say you, BSD reader? Which departing senior will be the toughest to say goodbye?