Evan Schwan was never supposed to be an impact player for the Nittany Lions. As an unranked recruit out of Harrisburg, the defensive end signed with the 2012 class and stuck with Penn State even as the NCAA handed down sanctions over the summer that made it seem as though Schwan would never play in a bowl game.
After redshirting his freshman season, Schwan slowly worked his way up the depth chart over the next three years. Despite registering zero sacks during his first four years with the program, he emerged as a 12-game starter in 2016 and sacked the quarterback six times to tie Garrett Sickels for the team lead. The performance earned Schwan third team All-Big Ten honors as well as an NFL contract earlier this spring.
He wasn’t selected in the NFL Draft, but Schwan was picked up by the New York Giants as a free agent shortly after. He’s not likely to have a huge impact in the professional ranks over the next few years, but the economics major has gotten used to fighting the uphill battle. If nothing else, he’ll remain a shining example of how even the least hyped recruits can turn into all-conference players with a little hard work and perseverance.