There’s been a lot of talk recently about the future of the fullback in Happy Valley, but let’s take a step back for a second and honor the fullbacks that came before us. Fortunately, Penn State very well could be dubbed Fullback-U because the lineage of grit in this program goes back decades.
Franco Harris and Matt Suhey stood out in the ‘70s, before going onto standout careers with the Steelers and Bears in the NFL. In the ‘80s, Steve Smith paved the way for DJ Dozier, helping lead Penn State to a National Championship over Miami. The ‘90s brought us Brian Milne and Mike Cerimele, two gritty PA born-and-bred fullbacks. Paul Jefferson and Matt Hahn were personal favorites of mine in the 2000s, while Joe Suhey came along and took part in the family business, too.
All those guys are great. But for me, my favorite fullback (and player overall) is Michael Zordich.
Zordich was a man’s man. He cared about two things — doing whatever was need to help the team, and making sure that included hitting somebody from the other team. That’s it. He didn’t complain or whine. Just came in, knew his role, went to work, and did his job. Not to mention, his flow game was strong.
Of course, we can’t talk about Zordich without mentioning his impact on Penn State in wake of the NCAA sanctions. Along with Michael Mauti, Zordich was the leading force in keeping the program together. Standing before the media, Zordich let the world know that the Nittany Lions weren’t going anywhere.
Five years laters, still have goosebumps. Would go to battle with Zordich any where, any time, any day.
Really, there is no wrong answer here: Who is your favorite Penn State fullback?