Skip to main content Skip to footer

July 2015 Archives

2015 Big Ten Media Day - Photo Blog

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
CHICAGO - Coach James Franklin and seniors Jordan Lucas, Angelo Mangiro and Anthony Zettel unofficially kicked off the 2015 season at Big Ten Media Day on Friday, July 31 inside the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place downtown Chicago. Here are some photos from the days events.


















IMG_1501 (1).JPG







2015 Big Ten Media Day Coverage

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

2015_B1G_Media_1.jpgVIDEO: James Franklin Media Day Press Conference | Media Day Transcript  | Media Day - Photo Blog

CHICAGO - Coach James Franklin and seniors Jordan Lucas, Angelo Mangiro and Anthony Zettel unofficially kicked off the 2015 season at Big Ten Media Day on Friday inside the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place downtown Chicago.

Franklin and the trio of players participated in a wide range of activities with local and national media throughout the day.  Take a look through highlights from a busy day in Chicago.

8:30 a.m. - Television and Radio Circuit Kicks Off Media Days
It was an early start to the day for Coach Franklin and the Nittany Lions. Franklin sat down with's Adam Rittenberg to kick off a busy day of interviews. The television and radio circuit included stops at Big Ten Network, CBS, ESPN, FOX and SiriusXM College Sports. The players filmed segments that will air on preview shows throughout the fall, including ESPN's College Gameday.

9:30 a.m. - Coach Franklin Addresses the Media
Head coach James Franklin stepped to the podium on Friday morning to speak with the more than 500 credentialed media members. Franklin spent 15 minutes discussing the Nittany Lions as the team gets set for training camp.

"Well, really excited about the opportunity to be here today, represent Penn State, represent the Big Ten," Franklin said. "You think about the story that's being told about our institution and the Big Ten as a whole this year compared to last year. It couldn't be more dramatically different."

Sound bites from the press meeting:

11229344.jpeg- Franklin on Christian Hackenberg - "Hack's had a great summer, and really spring. He was on the kind of the quarterback circuit. Did some things this summer and had some unique experiences, which were awesome as well. But to me, the storyline is the same as it was last year. I told everybody our concern wasn't with Christian Hackenberg, it was all the pieces of the puzzle around Christian. Like I said, we had one returning starter on the offensive line last year. This year four. Three of our four receivers last year were freshmen. We lost Adam Breneman, tight end, who we were expecting big things out of before the season started. And all those guys are back and with more experience. So I'm excited that Christian is going to be able to continue his development."

- Franklin on the Big Ten - "I think it's great. That's why you come to the Big Ten. That's why you come to Penn State. It's exciting that we're able to go to high schools and go to recruits and say - you have an opportunity to get a world-class education and play against the very best, which is what everybody wants to do. Big-time football, big-time academics, tremendous support. I think it's great. I think it's great for our conference. Like I said in the beginning, you think about the stories and the narrative that was being told a year ago compared to now, it's a 180-degree switch. So I think that's exciting. I think it's exciting in the fact that our players are going to be able to compete against some of the top players in the country. Our coaches are going to be able to compete against top coaches. We're going to be able to go into great environments and play big-time college football. We've embraced it. We're excited about it. It's all about competing in everything you do, in the classroom and on the football field."

- Franklin on motivation from last season - "I do. I think so. I think going through it is never fun, but I do think that they will be better because of that experience. I also feel that way about Christian Hackenberg. I think the mental and physical toughness that he showed last year in the long run is really going to help him. So, yeah, I think our offensive line has a chip on their shoulder. I think they worked like that all offseason. So, yeah, I would really appreciate if any of you guys are willing to write some nasty article about them to continue to motivate them to continue to push them throughout the season."

11:00 a.m. - Big Ten Kickoff Fan Fest and Luncheon
Following a 60-minute fan fest inside the Skyline Ballroom, more than 1,000 Big Ten fans attended the 44th Big Ten Football Kickoff Luncheon. Coach Franklin spent time talking to the crowd alongside fellow Big Ten coaches.

"I'm really proud of our guys and the way they have worked this offseason. We are excited," said Franklin.

2:30 p.m. - Open Media Session
Franklin and the trio of players moved into a podium media session following the luncheon. Additionally, each member of the group spent 60 minutes in a roundtable media event.

The theme of the remarks from the players and Coach Franklin centered on excitement for the start of training camp next week. The Nittany Lions have more depth across the roster, and Franklin and the players noted what type of advantage entering a season with a two-deep at every position does for the team's growth.

"I'm really excited about this year," said Lucas. "We have a lot more depth than we've had, and it just makes everyone elevate their game."

"Having more talent all around the team just makes you want to work that much harder at everything you do," said Zettel. "I'm really looking forward to seeing what we can do."

VIDEO: James Franklin Media Session

VIDEO: Player Remarks at Media Day

Twitter Snapshots from Media Day

6:00 p.m. - Media Day Roundup
The Nittany Lion contingent wrapped up a jam-packed day of events in the early evening hours on Friday before traveling back to State College. It was a superb trip for the student-athletes and Coach Franklin, but now focus shifts towards the start of training camp. The Nittany Lions will host Media Day on Aug. 6 before taking the field for the first practice. Penn State enters camp with more depth and a great deal of confidence leading up to the 2015 season. Stay tuned for much more coverage leading up to the season opener against Temple on Sept. 5.

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

Follow at 2015 Big Ten Media Days in Chicago

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

14_mediaday_blog_4a.jpgUNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The unofficial kickoff to the 2015 Big Ten football has arrived. The 44th Annual Big Ten Kickoff will take place inside the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago on Thursday and Friday. will be on site to cover all of the action. Head coach James Franklin, senior safety Jordan Lucas, senior center Angelo Mangiro and senior defensive tackle Anthony Zettel will represent Penn State in Chicago.

The two-day event will be filled with interviews and press conferences with a wide variety of national media outlets. Seven Big Ten teams will take part in media events on Thursday (
Michigan State, Illinois, Wisconsin, Maryland, Indiana, Iowa and Ohio State), and seven teams will participate in events on Friday (Minnesota, Michigan, Rutgers, Northwestern, Nebraska, Purdue and Penn State).

The BTN and ESPNU will have extensive coverage on TV. BTN will present
more than 13 hours of live coverage of Big Ten football media days on Thursday and Friday. BTN will air the press conferences for all 14 coaches, as well as Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany. Press conference coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET live on Thursday. BTN's live press conference coverage resumes on Friday at 9 a.m. ET. BTN Live will air from 3-7 p.m. ET on both Thursday and Friday with interviews featuring coaches and players.

Coverage by ESPNU will air from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. ET on both days with coverage of the press conferences and media day festivities. ESPNU will air the press conferences with all 14 coaches on a live or tape-delayed basis on both days.

On Friday, will be home to all of the happenings in Chicago. Stay tuned throughout Big Ten Media Days for live updates, videos and photos from Chicago.

Listed below are some of the key events from the Big Ten Kickoff in Chicago.

Friday, July 31

- 10:30 a.m.-10:45 a.m. ET - James Franklin Press Conference

- 12:30 p.m. ET - BTN's Dave Revsine will emcee the 44th Annual Big Ten Kickoff luncheon.

- 3:30 p.m.-7 p.m. ET - Coach Franklin and Penn State players conduct interviews with television, print and Internet media from around the nation.

We look forward to taking you with us to Chicago for complete Penn State coverage from Big Ten Media Day.

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

Summer Season a Period of Growth for Hoops Senior Class

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

blog_MBB_summer.jpgUNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Jordan Dickerson, Devin Foster, Donovon Jack and Brandon Taylor will not be looking around for a veteran leader come October when the Nittany Lion basketball team begins official practice.

The group of 2015-16 seniors has already laid the groundwork in taking ownership of the Penn State program thanks to a productive summer season on and off the court.

"I think we've done a good job of establishing ourselves as the guys who set the tone for the younger players," Dickerson said. "We have a lot of new talent on the roster, and we are just trying to set an example to help these guys become contributors."

Dickerson and his fellow seniors pointed to team chemistry and hard work as the driving forces behind what has been a strong preliminary phase of the upcoming season.

"Everybody is working hard right now," Taylor said. "I couldn't ask for more. We need to keep getting better, and we all can't wait for the season."

"The seniors have stepped up to show that we can lead this team," Jack said. "We have really good team chemistry, and the guys have worked really hard. The guys have bought in completely, and it's one of the closest teams I've ever been on."

The good chemistry starts with how the group gets along outside of the gym.

"It begins in our locker room," Taylor said. "We are all friends. We go out to eat together. We go to the movies together. That's where the chemistry on the court starts. You get to know your teammate as more than a teammate."

On the court, the Nittany Lions want to play fast. With the new 30-second shot clock in place for the season, the team wants to get up and down the floor to create more scoring opportunities. So far, the players are encouraged by the results during summer workouts.

"I like the way we are playing," Taylor said. "We are getting the ball up and down the floor, and we are playing unselfish. Our guards can get rebounds and push the ball to get better shots."

The Lions are moving the ball to get better looks at the basket, passing up a good shot for a great shot. The unselfish approach on the offensive end of the floor lends itself to more productivity.

"We are learning that when someone has a good shot, someone else likely has a better shot," Jack said.

"And we are doing it in July. Guys are getting better shots because we have been unselfish," Taylor said. "That just proves we are becoming a better team."

The ball movement aids everyone on the floor, but for a guy like Dickerson, unselfish basketball puts a 7-footer in a great spot to have success around the basket when he moves swiftly up the floor. Dickerson remained on campus during both summer sessions, and he has worked tirelessly to get in better physical condition because he knows how much it can help the team succeed.

"My summer has been really good," Dickerson said. "I stayed both summer sessions. I think the group has worked extremely hard during both sessions to continue improving on and off the court. I think I play the best when I have a clear head and when I'm not fatigued on the court. It's my last year, so I'm just trying to be a force on the floor."

That could not have been more evident than during Tuesday's 5-on-5 workout when Dickerson dove for a loose ball on defense before earning a trip to the free throw line and sinking two foul shots on the offensive end of the floor.

"Those type of plays are very important for our team to be successful," Dickerson said. "I felt really good after that play. It boosts your energy. And if we play like that, we are going to have a very productive year."

Dickerson's off court development and efforts on the floor aren't going unnoticed by his teammates.

"He's working hard for us, and we have to work hard for him," Taylor said. "To see a 7-footer get on the floor, that's not easy for him. That was big for us to see. It makes everybody else want to get that much better."

A play like Dickerson's dive and subsequent free throws equate to tallies in the program's "Attitude Club". Hard work and a positive attitude are the pillars of Nittany Lion Basketball. And while it may only be July, the program's core values are alive and well.

"One thing we are focused on this year is that no matter what happens on the court, we are going to stay positive," Taylor said. "When things aren't going your way and you get negative, that's when you start losing things. We are going to stay positive and stay together."

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

Goodwin Spends Summer Session in Mexico

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

11225807.jpegBy Maria Canales, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - While many of his teammates have spent their summers relaxing, working out or conditioning for the upcoming season, men's hockey junior David Goodwin spent the first half of his summer studying in Mexico. The forward, who notched 15 goals during the 2014-15 campaign, found his niche while taking classes towards his Spanish degree.

Goodwin stayed with a host family, which he said was one of the most appealing parts about choosing this abroad experience.

"I stayed with a Mexican family who was only able to speak Spanish," said Goodwin. "It's a little bit different from other programs where you get to stay in an apartment or a dorm. I really thought that staying with a Spanish speaking family would be the best for me to immerse myself in the culture and in the language."

Although his host family hadn't heard of Penn State hockey before they met Goodwin, they quickly learned about the program. Goodwin taught the family everything they needed to know about the famed Hockey Valley.

11225828.jpeg"I don't think they knew I was on the hockey team, but they definitely figured it out since I wore a lot of Penn State hockey stuff around the house," said Goodwin. "Eventually I was showing them videos of our games and they were just in awe. They thought it was really cool and they're going to try to come up for a game in the next couple years."

Goodwin talked about his favorite cultural aspects of his time abroad. He emphasized that the slower pace of life was what he enjoyed most, especially when it came to bonding with his host family. Mealtimes in Mexico, Goodwin learned, were the cornerstone of family interaction, and the time around a meal is valued as a vital part of a family's relationship.

"After the meals, sitting at the table and just chit chatting in Spanish, in Mexico that's a big cultural thing called 'sobre la mesa' where you stay at the table afterwards for an hour, hour and a half, and just talk with each other," said Goodwin. "That was a great experience for me."

No stranger to living with host families, Goodwin spent his years in junior hockey, before playing for Penn State, staying with host families. Goodwin explained that he felt he had an advantage when it came to getting used to living with a host family, since he had done it many times before.

"I felt like I definitely had a leg up on the other students that were with me because this was probably my fifth time kind of going in to a situation where I was going to be living with a host family who I didn't know before," said Goodwin. "The first few hours and couple days are a bit awkward but I definitely felt I was more comfortable because I had done it so many times prior."

Since his time in Mexico was part of a study abroad experience, Goodwin had the opportunity to take classes and learn more about Mexican heritage and culture. Goodwin took two Spanish classes, one on Mexican literature and another on Mexican history.

"I also took an art class on Mexican art, but that was taught in Spanish so I basically took three Spanish classes," said Goodwin.

11225831.jpegHis time learning and experiencing a new culture didn't confine the All-Big Ten Honorable Mention hockey player to just a classroom. During his final weekend in Mexico, Goodwin and others in his study abroad program traveled to the state of Puebla.

While in Puebla, Goodwin and his fellow students spent a full day at a local school, immersing him further into a culture he had started to become familiar with. This experience resonated with Goodwin in a life-changing way.

"We did some tourist things, but we volunteered at a school for a little over a day," said Goodwin.  "We brought them some food and worked with the kids in the classroom, talked to the kids a lot, and we played a lot of soccer at recess. It was pretty powerful, so I was really happy we did that."

The students at the school taught Goodwin some new soccer tricks, which he believes will come in handy by the time the 2015-16 Penn State men's hockey season rolls around.

"When [my teammates and I] are warming up before the games and we're playing soccer, I'll show them some of my moves I learned in Mexico," said Goodwin.

Goodwin's time in Mexico was a transformative experience, both educationally and personally. Having started out with his own preconceived ideas of the Mexican culture and peoples, Goodwin quickly learned that not everything he had in his head was a proper portrayal of such a wonderful country.

Goodwin explained that the people he met and lived with, along with the beautiful countryside, including mountains and waterfalls, have changed how he will forever look at the country he called home during his summer.

When asked what aspects of the Spanish culture he would bring back to Penn State, Goodwin highlighted that the most important things he learned were about prioritizing time and relationships.

"I think just the awareness of how other people live in the world, experiencing that there's way more to life than the material things, there's way more to life than hockey," said Goodwin. "To see the joys the families had in each other and spending time with each other was something that I felt had been lacking in my life in America, so just bringing back that joy and appreciation for the smaller things in life I think Americans take for granted." 


Nittany Lions Deliver Season Tickets and 2015 Posters

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lion football team spent Thursday interacting with fans around State College distributing the 2015 "Black Shoes. Basic Blues. No Names. All Game." posters. The team boarded four Blue Buses and spread out in different locations in State College and on the University Park campus. Additionally, head coach James Franklin hand delivered several sets of season tickets.

Take a look through some highlights.

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

VIDEO: 2015 Football Jersey Press Conference Remarks

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State football program announced on Thursday that names would be removed from the jerseys to rekindle a longstanding tradition of "Black Shoes. Basic Blues. No Names. All Game." Head coach James Franklin, along with letterman and current assistant coach Terry Smith and some of the current players met with the media on Thursday evening met with the media to discuss the jerseys.

James Franklin

Terry Smith

Nittany Lion Players

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

VIDEO: Black Shoes. Basic Blues. No Names. All Game

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

2015 Football Preseason Watch List Central

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - With the start of preseason practice for the Nittany Lion football team just around the corner, July is filled with news pertaining to watch lists for college football's national awards. Follow along with a preseason award tracker below.

July 7 - Bednarik Award & Maxwell Award

July 8 - John Mackey Award & Rimington Trophy

July 10 - Nagurski Trophy & Outland Trophy


July 14 - Rotary Lombardi Award

July 15 - Biletnikoff Award

July 16 - Davey O'Brien Award & Doak Walker Award
Hack_Daveyobrien_Blog.jpgAkeel_Doak Walker_Blog.jpg

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

Football Team Visits Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital

| 2 Comments | No TrackBacks

hershey_15_3.jpgUNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Maintaining a positive attitude is the name of the game for Penn State Football at all hours of the day.

Head coach James Franklin and the team live by core value No. 1 - positive attitude - to ensure that every member of the program and every member of the community that the program touches have a upbeat attitude and experience during each interaction.

hersehy_15_2.jpgWith that in mind, the entire team boarded three buses on Wednesday afternoon on a mission to make a positive impact on a visit to Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital. For the second-straight year, the Nittany Lions received a rousing cheer from the medical center staff members, patients and their families when the group walked in the front door.

Upon arrival, the team broke into smaller groups and walked through different sections of the hospital to spread enthusiasm and uplifting energy. In room after room, the Nittany Lion players and staff members were greeted with smiles from patients and families. The hospital staff members in each wing posed for photos and thanked the team for taking time to visit the immaculate facility.

"We are really excited about being here," Franklin said. "This is turning into a tradition. We talk all the time with our guys about being men for others. That's a term we use all the time in our program to teach our guys about service...A lot of times all of us get caught up in our day-to-day lives, but coming to the Children's Hospital, it puts things in perspective. You realize how blessed you are. I've been inspired."

Several groups of players visited with non-ambulatory patients in their rooms in the Hematology/Oncology, Pediatric Intermediate Care, Medical/Surgical and the Emergency Room of the hospital. Other groups spent time engaging with ambulatory patients in the Tree House Cafe where they signed autographs and played games.

hershey_15_1.jpg"Coming here and getting to see all of these kids and make an impact is an experience that I can't really put into words," senior Matt Zanellato said. "It's an experience that all of us look forward to. And it's something that all of us embrace and enjoy making an impact on the kids."

Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital is a 263,000-square-foot, five-story facility. The nearly $207 million facility was built adjacent to Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center's main entrance.

"Our guys have a great platform, and they embrace the platform," Franklin said. "It's awesome when you can bring 125 guys (here), you can spread out and touch a lot of different people in a positive way."

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

VIDEO: 2015 Lift For Life Highlights

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The 2015 Penn State Uplifting Athletes Lift For Life raised more then $120,000 for kidney cancer awareness and research. The offense topped the defense, 31-30, with a late rally to win Saturday's event. Take a look through some highlights from 2015 Lift For Life.

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

VIDEO: 2014-15 Year in Review with Sandy Barbour

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - talks with Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour to review a superb 2014-15 season for Penn State Athletics.

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

VIDEO: 2014-15 Season Highlights

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State's 2014-15 season was one marked by excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community. takes a look back at the campaign in a season highlight reel.

Late Surge Fuels Offense to 31-30 Win at 2015 Lift For Life

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

2015_LFL_Blog_1.jpgVIDEO: Lift for Life Day Player Interviews

Lift for Life Photo Gallery

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Thanks to a late rally in the tug of war battle, the Nittany Lion offense edged the defense, 31-30, in a six-event, head-to-head strength and conditioning competition to benefit the Kidney Cancer Association through Penn State's chapter of Uplifting Athletes.

For the fifth-straight year, the funds raised at Lift For Life were on pace to reach new heights following another superb event on Saturday. With donation figures still to be finalized, the 2015 Uplifting Athletes fundraising efforts have lifted the 13-year total well above the $1 million mark.
Fans can still make a Lift For Life donation by visiting the Penn State Uplifting Athletes donation page HERE.

A sun-splashed morning and a crowd of approximately 2,500 fans greeted the Nittany Lions at the Penn State Lacrosse Field. The upperclassmen participated in the head-to-head competition pitting the offense against the defense. Simultaneously, the true freshmen ran in a mini Lift for Life kids clinic with more than 100 participants on the turf at the lacrosse field.

"This is just a culmination of a lot of hard work," senior linebacker and Uplifting Athletes President Ben Kline said. "Guys have spent all year raising money, executing events, creating new ideas for fundraising, and today was an opportunity to celebrate it."

The Nittany Lions put on a show for the fans in attendance with an exhibition in six strenuous events. The competition featured eight rotations of one-on-one battles in the 225-pound bench press, 400-pound "farmer" hold, obstacle course relay, deadlift, sled push/pull relay and tire flip.

2015_LFL_Blog_2.jpg The final tally (31-30, Offense) was based on head-to-head victories in each individual rep and the tug of war competition. Some of the notable performances of the day on the bench press included senior defensive tackle Tarow Barney's 34-rep effort at 225 pounds. Junior offensive lineman Brian Gaia tallied 33 reps, while senior defensive tackle Anthony Zettel notched 31 reps.

The "farmer" hold turned into a fan favorite. A new event for 2015, the players held 200 pounds in each hand in a race against the clock to see which player could outlast the other. Matt Baney, Paris Palmer, Trevor Williams, Matt Zanellato, Brandon Bell and Austin Johnson were among the individual winners in the "farmer" hold.

When the six-event rotation wrapped up, the Nittany Lions moved in front of the fans for the tug of war finale. Trailing by nine tallies (25-16) heading into the final stage of competition, the offense scored three of the four five-point battles to claim a 31-30 victory.

Despite the defense leading for most of the afternoon in the six field events, the offense will take some friendly bragging rights into the rest of the summer after taking three tug of war battles to clinch the crown as the overall winners at the 2015 Lift for Life.

Following the workout, the Nittany Lions met with the loyal Nittany Lion fans and signed autographs.

"We have the best fans in the nation," running back Akeel Lynch said. "For so many people to be out here on a day when we are just working out in front them, it just shows you how much support we have. It's pretty cool."

Assistant Athletic Director for Performance Enhancement Dwight Galt and his staff had a blast at the Lift for Life event. He applauded the player-run Uplifting Athletes organization for its countless hours of prep work to put on another successful event.

"The No. 1 goal today was to raise $100,000. That was the No. 1 thing. They couldn't control that, but that was really important to our guys," said Galt. "The No. 2 thing - we wanted to have fun. The guys have eight weeks in the bank right now (for summer workouts). They are crushing it right now...Then the third thing, we wanted them to compete and put on a good show. And I think we were 3-for-3. This was a big time success today."

The 13th Lift For Life was again a tremendous success and fundraiser for kidney cancer, largely thanks to countless hours of preparation from the Uplifting Athletes group led by Kline.

Penn State begins preseason practice on Aug. 6.


Much more to follow, including video highlights from the 13th Annual Lift For Life

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

VIDEO: 2015 Lift For Life Day Interviews

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Hear from several Nittany Lions and Assistant Athletic Director, Performance Enhancement Dwight Galt at the 2015 Lift For Life.

Kline, Uplifting Athletes Leading the Fight Against Kidney Cancer

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

11212581.jpegUNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - For the past 12 years, Uplifting Athletes, a Penn State Football player-run organization, has bonded together to lead the fight against kidney cancer.

To date, the group has raised more than $1 million for the Kidney Cancer Association since the first Lift For Life in 2003. A highlight on the summer calendar in Happy Valley, Uplifting Athletes hosts Lift For Life, a grueling test of physical and mental strength, on Saturday to benefit the kidney cancer awareness and research efforts.

Founded by Nittany Lion football teammates Scott Shirley, Dave Costlow and Damone Jones in 2003, Penn State's chapter of Uplifting Athletes is led by current president and linebacker Ben Kline. Kline and his fellow officers are primed to host another tremendous event on Saturday.

"This is a culmination of a lot of hard work throughout the calendar year," Kline said. "This last push is pretty hectic, but it is really exciting. It is another year of great fundraising down. We are really excited to go out there and have a celebration with all of the fans for the work we have put in all year. We will raise some money and then make our donation to the Kidney Cancer Association. This is the best part of the year for Uplifting Athletes."

This year's event will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Penn State Lacrosse Field (located next to the Multisport Building). The Uplifting Athletes group has again placed an emphasis on fan interaction in 2015. Penn State fans will have an opportunity to meet the Nittany Lions on the field from 1-2 p.m. during a meet and greet and autograph session. Additionally, members of the squad will host a kids clinic on the field as the Lift For Life event takes place.

"It's really cool to have the kids on the field with us during the actual event," Kline said. "They enjoyed it so much last year. And hearing from the guys who ran the kids clinic last year, they had a blast, so it's just a fun, interactive way to get the kids involved with us on the field. It's good for all parties involved."

Lift For Life is the marquee event for the Uplifting Athletes group and the culmination of fundraising efforts for the year. It is circled by fans and members of the community each summer, but it is also a highlight for the members of the team, who jump at the opportunity to participate in the voluntary event.

"The community plays such a big role in this," Kline said. "People are always asking us how they can help and what our next event is because they genuinely care about the cause. And the guys on the team love being a part of this. That's what makes this so special. It makes our job easy."

All of the money raised by Uplifting Athletes goes directly to the Kidney Cancer Association and is earmarked for research. Since the first Lift For Life in 2003, eight new treatments have come to market as a direct result of the research dollars Uplifting Athletes has raised.

"It's been really cool for us to take our platform as Penn State football players and use it to directly affect the lives of people who need assistance," Kline said. "You have people who are living longer and living more fulfilling lives as a direct result of the work we have been able to do as football players."

In the heart of the summer workout season, the team will have an opportunity to showcase efforts and gains during the summer conditioning program. Saturday marks the only workout all year where the team competes in front of its loyal supporters. Saturday's event, led by Assistant Athletic Director of Performance Enhancement Dwight Galt and his staff, will consist of six events before a tug of war at the center of the field. The competition will again pit the offense against the defense.

The list of events includes:
- 225-pound Bench Press Competition
- Dead Lift
- Sled Push/Pull
- Tire Flip
- Farmer's Hold (Who can hold 400 pounds the longest) New for 2015
- Obstacle Course

To donate to Uplifting Athletes Lift for Life, click the link listed below:

Donation Link

Parking Information for Lift for Life on Saturday, July 11
Visitor parking for the event will be available at Lot 44, located just east of the Bryce Jordan Center and accessible via Dauer Drive (from University Drive), Porter Road and Curtin Road.

With event parking sales for the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts in effect on Saturday, July 11, parking at Lot 44 will require payment of a $5 event parking fee (cash only) or display of a valid Penn State parking permit.

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

VIDEO: Matt Brown - 2014-15 Academic All-America of the Year

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - talks with Matt Brown about earning the distinguished honor of being named Capital One Academic All-America of the Year on Thursday.

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony


  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago