Penn State football players may seem larger than life to young fans who watch them on television during the season. But Saturday at Lasch Building, the Nittany Lions revealed much different sides of themselves to some special visitors.
Roughly 30 families who have been impacted by pediatric cancer were on hand as part of the THON Explorers Program. Held in conjunction with the Penn State Dance Marathon, which is going on at the Jordan Center this weekend, the annual event gives kids who are dealing with cancer a behind-the-scenes tour of PSU's football facility.
This year, there was a twist. Before the tours began, Penn State video coordinator Jevin Stone brought a variety of Nittany Lions to the front of the team's squad room and had them do a variety of things for the kids and their families.
Laughs -- and a lot of them -- were the order of the day, as the THON visitors learned just how human their football heroes can be.
The players were not told in advance of the program, but loved doing it for the kids. As offensive tackle Andrew Nelson said, Just to show them we can be funny and goofy, too, and we can have a good time.
As much fun as everyone had with the program, the tours of the facilities and the ice cream social that followed, Nelson said the Nittany Lions never lost sight of the serious situations in which so many of the kids find themselves.
This is something that really hits home, that's special for us, he explained. These kids with cancer they're battling for their lives right now and they just want to meet us. That really means a lot to us.
Check out the video above to see the Nittany Lions in action.