A part of the oft-vaunted 2012 Penn State football team, offensive lineman Adam Gress grew from a three-star high school recruit outside of the commonwealth’s top twenty into a starter on now-Texans head coach Bill O’Brien’s Penn State squad.
Gress came to Penn State as part of the 2009 recruiting class, one of the final few under Joe Paterno. He redshirted his first season in Happy Valley, but saw time in half of the games in his redshirt freshman campaign (2010) and again in 2011.
It wasn’t until the 2012 season, O’Brien’s first, that Gress made his way into the starting lineup, a position that he carried into the 2013 season, his redshirt senior year in a PSU jersey - a year in which he started every single game for the Nittany Lions.
Gress went undrafted in the following NFL draft before landing in camp with the NY Giants after signing a rookie contract. He ultimately transitioned away from football and was working in home construction when tragedy struck in late 2017; while at home one night, Gress fell and suffered a head injury. He passed away in December of that year at the age of 26 due to an undiagnosed heart condition (Hypertrophic Cardio Myopathy, or HCM).
Gress’s fiance and friends set up an annual scholarship to honor the late lineman a year after his passing, in 2018.