Mahon Thrilled With Return to Happy Valley

Randolph (N.J.) High offensive tackle and Penn State commit Brendan Mahon returned to Happy Valley for the season opener against Ohio. And although the Nittany Lions lost, he was thrilled to be back to watch football.

Like many of the 97,000 fans at Penn State's season opener, Randolph (N.J.) High offensive lineman Brendan Mahon was just thrilled to be watching football, talking football and focusing on a season.

The Penn State commit, who was the first to publicly state he was remaining with the Nittany Lions are the four-year postseason ban and scholarship reduction was announced in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, was thrilled to see the turnout and the response of the community Saturday against Ohio, even if the day ended on a down and a Penn State loss.

"I think it was much-needed," Mahon said. "Everyone was waiting for this for so long. It was kind of a burden on everyone's shoulders waiting for the season to start.

"(The team) was great to see. After all the conflict, for them to come out pumped up and to be ready to play, it was great."

Even during Mahon's drive from is home to the campus for the noon kickoff signaled a change in the constant questions about his commitment status and what has transpired at Penn State.

"It was a long-awaited trip," he said. "Just going there, the whole atmosphere …you're driving on I-80 all the way out and every car you see is Penn State'd out. It was nice to see."

With Penn State's opener in the past, the 6-foot-5, 310-pound Mahon is now focused on his opener Friday against Pope John XXIII (Sparta, N.J.).

The moment he left Penn State's campus after the game, his mindset moved to his current team. "I am just focused on the season and my teammates here, and Penn State is independent and in the back of my mind," he said. "I'm going to come out and do my thing my senior season and then start preparing for what's next, and that's Penn State."

Mahon will also get his first tangible test after working on several key aspects in the offseason. His goal was to improve his run blocker, and bend better so he can get lower and gain better leverage.

"The weight room is big (in run blocking) because you're just pretty much overpowering a guy and putting him into the ground," Mahon said. "The weight room is big. Keeping your feet moving and running your feet, so agility is big and so is having the mass of having 300 pounds.

"Going against smaller kids, it's always difficult to keep your posture right and your technique right. That is something I need to work on this year."

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