On Track for Early PSU PT?

Tom McEowen will soon join an elite group of individuals. Well, make that two groups. Obviously, McEowen will be a member of an outstanding incoming freshman class of Nittany Lion football players. The other group?

How about the group of 6-foot-4, 275-pound 100-meter sprinters. The few. The proud.

McEowen, the four-star defensive tackle prospect from Neshaminy High who was recently named Big 33 Defensive Player of the Year, is currently training to be in top physical shape when he gets to Happy Valley this summer. The focus of his training is to optimize his speed, at the behest of PSU defensive line coach Larry Johnson.

“Coach Johnson said who ever is the faster is going to play,” McEowen said. “And I want to be that guy.”

One component of his planned training regiment is running track with his high school team. Typically, a kid blessed with the size and strength of McEowen will be utilized in the shot put or another strength event. But not in this instance. McEowen indicated that he wants to - and is scheduled to - run in the 100-meter dash.

“Right now, I'm lifting four times a week and running two times a week,” McEowen noted. “I want to run with the track team to stay in shape.”

McEowen couldn't hold in a chuckle when he indicated he would be running sprints, and not throwing a shot put. The thought of a big defensive lineman running full speed for 100 meters, although slightly comical, does serve a legitimate purpose in McEowen's preparation for college ball.

“I don't know if I'll win any races, but they'll let me run,” McEowen said.

McEowen trains at the same facility that current West Virginia running back Steve Slaton trained at prior to his enrollment in Morgantown. According to McEowen, he maxes his bench out at 360 pounds and was clocked at an astounding 4.12 second in the shuttle recently.

But measurements aside, McEowen made it clear that he cannot wait to get to Penn State and begin practice in late June. Before then, he will be at Penn State's Holuba Hall in May for the Pennsylvania team's first Big 33 practice. Despite garnering the award for top defensive lineman by the Big 33, McEowen said he wants to prove it on the field.

“In Pennsylvania, we were stacked with defensive linemen,” McEowen said. “I'm not cocky, but I do think I am the number one lineman in the state because I have to think that. I don't think you go out and not think you're the best player at your position. Now the pressure is on and I have to produce.”


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