Geiger Counting the Days

The run-on athlete from the Harrisburg area can't wait to get to Penn State to start chasing his dream. He believes he can make an early impact on special teams.

Adam Geiger has always been driven by playing for someone other than himself. Whether it is his teammates, his coaches or a rabid fan base, the Trinity High (Camp Hill, Pa.) athlete has always sought extra motivation when taking the gridiron.

So it was only fitting that the 5-foot-10, 195-pound prospect was drawn to Penn State by the Nittany Nation, among other things, passing up scholarship offers at FBS and Division II programs to take a run-on spot at Penn State Wednesday. His dream is running onto the Beaver Stadium turf in front of a packed home crowd.

“I've been thinking about Penn State for awhile, but lately I had a decent amount of schools offering different things,” Geiger said. “A scholarship would have been great, because I need the money. But I wanted to do whatever I have to do to make it through and go to Penn State, because it's a great opportunity for me at the Division I level to make an impact.”

Geiger tore up the Mid-Penn Conference last fall, bolting a team high 186 times for 1,510 yards and 20 touchdowns. No one-trick pony, though, the senior also made 32 stops while playing linebacker and safety for the 9-2 Shamrocks.

“The biggest thing for me is finishing, whether it's on offense or defense. If you get through the line, but can't make the tackle, you didn't do your job,” Geiger said. “I'm open to anything, whether it is offense, defense or special teams.”

He'll be worked out as an athlete once he arrives at University Park this June, but will primarily be looked at as a running back and a potential special teamer. While not all college athletes have experience on the kick-off squads, Geiger practiced the craft his first year playing varsity football. Then at Northern High School (Dillsburg, Pa.), Geiger began his varsity time as a freshman, playing mainly special teams. He also spent some time there once transferring to Trinity at the start of his sophomore year.

“It's a different position playing special teams, but that's where I started at Northern,” Geiger said. “It's a great opportunity to get on the field, and you really only have two options: make a great hit or whiff valiantly trying to.”

Joining fellow walk-on Kyle Searfoss of Red Land High (Lewisberry, Pa.) and early enrollee Adam Breneman (Camp Hill, Pa.), Geiger will be the third member of the Class of 2013 to come from Harrisburg's West Shore, and he is familiar with both of them.

“I actually played with Kyle when I was younger. He was my quarterback, and I knew him as a kid, but I haven't talked to him much since. It will be great to be reunited with him,” Geiger said. “And Adam, he's a great guy, and a great guy to be around.”

As a run-on, he knows he'll have to work to achieve his desired results, and that process is well underway. Training daily with personnel trainer Dave Dawson, Geiger also returned to the mats this year, wrestling for the first time since his sophomore year.

“I really have to give my mind-set to wrestling. It's me and another guy, and I look at football at me against the other team. Whatever I can do to get the ball, that's what I'm going to do,” Geiger said. “After my sophomore year, I decided that after 14 years of wrestling I had had enough. But I made a last minute decision to go back out this year, because wrestling is a great way to keep yourself in check.”

Geiger plans to enroll for summer courses and get on campus as soon as he can, putting him one step closer to fall Saturday's at Beaver Stadium.

“I really like how Penn State treats everyone the same, whether they are a scholarship player or a run-on,” Geiger said. “But I'm still going to go in with a chip on my shoulder, and do the best I can to prove myself. I love the fan base, and that and the opportunity at Penn State makes me play harder every single day and lets me enjoy living out the dream.”

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