LaVar Leaps in to Action at Penn State

The most high-profile former Nittany Lion football player is lending a hand to new head coach James Franklin.

The most high-profile former Penn State football player is back in the fold with the Nittany Lions.

LaVar Arrington, an All-American linebacker under Joe Paterno in the late 1990s who went on to a long NFL career (and is now a well-known television and radio personality), had been noticeably absent from Happy Valley during Bill O'Brien's two years as head coach.

But even before James Franklin was officially announced as O'Brien's replacement Jan. 11, Arrington took to Twitter to endorse the soon-to-be former Vanderbilt coach as the Lion leader.

“Throwing my cards on the table I support James Franklin 100% I believe he's the perfect person for the job. Hope he gets it,” Arrington tweeted Jan. 9.

Of course, Franklin did get the job. And he wasted no time getting Arrington back involved with the Nittany Lion program.

Arrington served as emcee for Penn State's Signing Day event at the Jordan Center Wednesday night. But before breaking down film of the team's recent signees with Franklin, he gave a short speech announcing his return.

It went like this:

We are a family that nothing or no one will ever, ever break.

I'm sure you guys know, I haven't been around. But I always am around. You know I love my momma, and this (Penn State) is our momma.

Let me tell you something: it's time. I'm here. Coach Franklin called me up and said it's time to bring the family back together. I'm here to represent that piece (that was missing). We will come back.

So what I need for you guys to do is to embrace and to support this coaching staff and these players.

A bit later, he led the crowd in a “We Are … Penn State” chant. You can see video highlights of Arrington's return above.

Fight On State Top Stories