Homecoming for Posluszny

HERSHEY — Penn State's Butkus Award winning senior linebacker has fond memories of his Big 33 experience in 2003. FOS caught up with Posluszny on the sideline at the 2006 Big 33 Classic to talk about his history with the game and more.

Posluszny returns each year to take in the Big 33 game.

"It's fun to be back here on the sideline and watch the game and get a look at our future Penn State guys," he said.

Watching the game is not the only thing on his mind when he makes his annual drive to Hershey.

"I just love coming back here," Posluszny said. "I had a great host family here. I stayed with Tom and Ann Reigle, and I always love coming back to see them and watch some good high school football."

Pozluszny was among the very best at the 2003 Big 33 Classic, and it was evident that he would make a sudden impact at Penn State. Posluszny was one of the bright spots for a disappointing 2003 Nittany Lion squad that followed up a trip to the Capital One Bowl in January with a dismal 3-9 campaign. After the 2004 Lions struggled to a 3-7 record entering the final game of the season, Posluszny, along with several other upperclassmen, set a higher standard.

Drawing inspiration from Adam Taliaferro, who ran onto the field to be introduced with his senior class, the 2004 Nittany Lions hammered Michigan State 37-13 to prove their narrow escape at Indiana the week before was no fluke, and sending a message that Penn State was back. Posluszny led all defenders for the game, with 15 tackles, two for loss and an interception.

Entering the 2005 season, Posluszny was named to virtually every watch list he qualified for as a linebacker, and he did not disappoint. As a rare junior captain, he, along Ohio State standout A.J. Hawk, were the unquestioned best linebackers in the nation. When Posluszny was awarded the Butkus Award at the end of the year, the senior Hawk was gracious, telling the media that Posluszny deserved it after his performance in the PSU/OSU game where he recorded 14 tackles to Hawk's nine.

Posluszny finished the season watching his team earn a hard fought 26-23 Orange Bowl victory over Florida State after suffering a knee injury while jumping over Seminole Lorenzo Booker to make a tackle. Freshman and Big 33 alumni Sean Lee, who hopes to follow in Posluszny's footsteps, came on in relief as the Lions wrapped up an 11-1 Big Ten championship season.

When asked about his injury and his rehab, Posluszny said "The rehab is going really well, it's ahead of schedule, and I'm feeling great right now. I could definitely play right now if I had to, and I'll just continue to improve as the summer rolls on. By the time the season gets here I'll be 100 percent — back to normal."

A normal Posluszny is certainly good news for Penn State fans and bad news for the rest of the Big Ten. He is looking forward to his senior season.

"There's no reason why we can't have another Big Ten championship," he said. "I know that we have that kind of talent coming back, and we have a great quarterback. We have a strong defense and a lot of the things we had going for us last year, so there is no reason why we should't be able to be right there and be able to compete for another Big Ten title."


Fight On State Top Stories