Frank Di Leo was born in Elmhurst, Illinois and attended Saint Ignatius College Preparatory in Chicago. His hobbies are listed as playing catch and also taking pizza orders at his family’s restaurant according to his Penn State player profile.
You won’t find too much in his player profile that sticks out; entering his red-shirt junior season he has one tackle to his credit while seeing time in two games. He is a 5’9, 220 pound linebacker but what he brings to the team is much more meaningful than his on-field contribution.
At the pep rally in Arizona before the Fiesta Bowl, just one current player spoke to the crowd. Former players such as Bryant Johnson and Jimmie Kennedy addressed the crowd, as did Penn State president Eric Barron, athletic director Sandy Barbour, and of course head coach James Franklin. Frank Di Leo was given the honor of speaking for the players.
For all of his accomplishments on the field, he would not be the first choice to take the mic for the players. Off the field, Di Leo was named Academic All-Big Ten in 2017. He studies business administration and has his eyes on becoming a restaurant owner or pursuing a career in real estate once he is finished in State College. One thing is for sure, Di Leo is going places.
Time will tell where his journey will take him but his charisma has the gravitational pull of a star that is in the process of forming. Maybe it’s his hair that pulls you in. It could be his massive legs. When a small object nears his quads, such as a golf or tennis ball, it will circle his legs like a moon until he shoos it away.
Here’s Di Leo playing the role of quarterback, tossing warm-ups to receivers prior to the Fiesta Bowl. He has the time to mix it up with other players that come to say hello in between reps and also the awareness to warn them not to get stepped on. He does what the team needs him to do.
He and buddy Jason Vranic (51) celebrated the Penn State win following the Fiesta Bowl, garnering a little scout team love, which was well-deserved.
It is easy to forget that the players that are not on scholarship have additional responsibilities to fulfill in order to make their dream of playing Penn State football a reality. Di Leo is listed at the Chicago chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association as being a past recipient of their scholarship. Here is the thank you letter that Di Leo sent in response to their aid toward his education.
I am writing to express my sincere gratitude to you and the committee for selecting me as a recipient of the Penn State Chicago scholarship. I am so humbled to have been chosen for this award knowing that there were many qualified applicants.
The Penn State Chicago scholarship means a great deal to me. As an out-of-state student with a brother attending college and another brother attending university in the upcoming fall, the scholarship aids my family and I with the cost of college that I will be forever grateful for. Thank you for continuing to support and encourage higher education. Your kindness and generosity are greatly appreciated.
Keep up the good work, Frank.
Just 39 more days until Penn State football!