Just picture this- it’s Aug. 31, and the sun is shining down on Beaver Stadium in a picturesque day in Happy Valley. Rafael Checa and the rest of the Penn State kickoff unit trot out on the field for the first of many, many times of the 2019 season. As the 10 headhunters begin their sprint down the field, Checa’s right foot comes in contact with the football, sending it sailing through the blue sky, where it not only goes out of the end zone, but glides through the air straight out of Beaver Stadium, out of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, before finally landing in some unknown location far out into the Atlantic Ocean.
While fans’ mouths are left agape by Checa’s mighty leg, it turns out to be a sign of what’s to come. Checa will go on to perform the most kickoffs in a single season in the history of college football, coming on the field at least a dozen times per game as Sean Clifford, Ricky Slade, KJ Hamler and Justin Shorter make the ‘94 offense look more like the ‘04 offense. Checa’s final kickoff of the season comes as Penn State puts the nail in the coffin during the national championship game against the Alabama-Clemson-New England Patriots super team hastily created by the NCAA in a desperate attempt to stop the 2019 Nittany Lions juggernaut.
Am I perhaps getting ahead of myself a bit? You could say that, but with 90 days until the start of the season it’s a time for boundless optimism. So go ahead and let your mind wander and do the mental gymnastics to convince yourself that this is the year, and this is the team to carry Penn State to a perfect 15-0 record while bringing a national championship trophy back to State College.
Only 90 days until the start of the 2019 Penn State football season!