Following the end of the game Trace McSorley was one of the last players to leave the field and disappear into the locker room. There were many eyes on McSorley, who will go down as one of the all-time great players at Penn State, as he walked off the field for the final time as a college player.
Just before his feet left the edge of the field, he stopped and knelt on the ground.
The heart and soul of the Penn State team for the past few seasons took a moment to himself before walking off the stage for the final time. During the post-game interview he referred to himself as a former player, and how it felt strange to think that way. Trace will always remain in the highest regard for those who have watched him play. He was a true leader, a winner, and whatever the future holds for him, it surely will involve a great deal of success, and a lot of inspiring the people around him.
When the Nittany Lions play their next game nine months from now, Micah Parsons will be in a position to lead the team at a very young age, similar to McSorley. Parsons will be a sophomore, as McSorley was a redshirt sophomore when he became the face of the offense. As was the case when Trace took the helm, there were veterans and stellar players around him to allow the young leader to ease into the role.
Such will be the case for Parsons next season. While Parsons is expected to start at one of the linebacker positions, and to be one of the best defensive players on the team, if not conference, he will have help from veteran players that will be on the field with him.
Parsons was the final Nittany Lion to walk off the field, and before he did, he stopped to throw one of his gloves to a young fan. Parsons would have thrown his other glove but the security staff needed him to join the rest of his team in the locker room. It was a very nice gesture for Parsons to be thinking about the fans just a few minutes following a disappointing loss.