FOS Audio: Jared Odrick

HERSHEY - Jared Odrick doesn't hesitate when questioned about his goals for the Pennsylvania defense in the Big 33 game. "Our goal is at least eight sacks in the game, that's what we're going to strive for," Odrick tells FOS. "I just want to play hard on both sides of the ball and help Pennsylvania get back on a winning streak."

Odrick, along with fellow Nittany Lions Tom McEowen and Abe Koroma might just be the dominating defenders to make that goal a reality. The trio of Penn Staters have been called the best group of defensive linemen in the history of the Big 33. Odrick may be the fastest of the bunch, and his speed and talent are not lost on the Pennsylvania coaching staff who have worked Odrick into the offensive scheme as well.

Odrick, who prefers playing defense, and who has bonded with McEowen - the two will likely room together at Penn State this year, has said that he would not rule out playing on the other side of the ball if that would get him to the next level, but the soft spoken defender says, "watch me and see what I can do on defense before you make that call." Based on the more than 40 offers Odrick received during his recruiting period, many coaches did just that.

Odrick, who primarily focused on basketball until his sophomore season, credits the sport with helping to develop his speed and agility. Lebanon High School football coach Bill Giovino says, "I first saw him playing junior high basketball, and I was very impressed with his athletic ability, especially for a kid that big. He could really move on the court and we knew that he could help us on the football field at an early age."

Help he did. Odrick was not able to play football before he got to junior high, he was too big to play in the local Pee Wee leagues. Despite the late start, Odrick played only two years in junior high before being named a varsity starter as a freshman.

The soft spoken Odrick credits "Coach J" with a major portion of his decision to attend Penn State, telling FOS that "Penn State felt like home, and that Coach Johnson could help him out a lot as a player and a person."

Odrick, who once played at 305 lbs credits his conditioning program that he focused on between his junior and senior years with getting him in the best shape of his life.

The Ohio offense will discover just what kind of shape Odrick is in when the 49th annual Big 33 Classic kicks off at 7:00 PM on June 17 at Hersheypark Stadium.

FOS Audio: Odrick Talks Big 33 and PSU

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