When Daniel Pasquariello arrived at Penn State the punting situation was in a very bad place. Chris Gulla was a red-shirt freshman and was forced into action before he was fully prepared to take on the role. By the middle of September, Gulla and the true-freshman walk-on Pasquariello were platooning at the position.
Pasquariello arrived in State College in 2014, by way of Melbourne, Australia. He had never punted during live game action when he made his first kick versus Massachusetts on September 20. He would go on to start six games, appearing in nine, on his way to making the all-freshman Big Ten team for ESPN.com, BTN.com and 247Sports.
Being that he is from the land down-under, he is fond of vegemite. He tried to get some teammates to give the Australian favorite a try, but it did not go over well.
Punter Daniel Pasquariello shares the Australian delicacy "Veg...
Punter Daniel Pasquariello shares the Australian delicacy "Vegemite" with the guys.Posted by Penn State Football on Wednesday, November 1, 2017
While Pasquariello was passed up on the depth chart by Blake Gillikin in 2016, he did not work any less hard to make the team better. In 2017 he got off just one punt, a fourth-quarter kick versus Georgia State. Much like Gulla and Gillikin, each accomplished students, Pasquariello excelled in the classroom as well. He made the Dean’s List for the fall of 2014, his first on campus while playing in front of crowds at or above 100,000 people in the stands. He made the Dean’s List on two other occasions and also was named to the Big Ten All-Academic team in 2015.
Pasquariello was one of 21 Penn State football players that had graduated by the time they suited up for the Fiesta Bowl. He did so in three and a half years, completing his Economics degree a few weeks before his final game. Wasting no time, he is already one semester deep into his second degree, focusing on labor studies and employment relations. His plan is to work in accounting, finance, or investment banking.
I was fortunate to be on the field following the Fiesta Bowl and I caught what would become Daniel Pasquariello’s final on-field contribution to the Penn State community. As he was running off the field, having taken his helmet off for the final time, he noticed a child wearing a full Penn State uniform. The only thing the youngster was missing was a lid. Pasquariello was quick to complete the young man’s ensemble. With his mother looking on, grandmother taking video, and father at his side, the youngster stood on the turf of the Fiesta Bowl in full uniform, just like the real players!
While the moment didn’t last more than a couple of seconds, the memory will live on for decades for the appreciative family. The same could be said for Pasquariello’s on-field contribution; it was brief but his impact in the Penn State community will likely be felt, and appreciated, for years to come.
Thanks for representing the Penn State family with class and thoughtfulness, Daniel!
Only 92 days until kickoff.