Nittany Lion fans got their first glimpse of Brad Bars' ability to make plays last year against Illinois, when he blocked a fourth-quarter punt that Penn State converted into a field goal to change the momentum in the Leaders Division matchup. In the 2012 Blue-White game, Bars was making plays from his defensive end position, recording two sacks. A hard-nosed, aggressive competitor, the former linebacker is working hard to earn a spot in the defensive end rotation. Bars also could remain a heavy contributor on special teams. A Dean's List student, he garnered Academic All-Big Ten honors last year. The finance major, who compiled a 3.67 grade-point average during the spring semester, owns an impressive 3.83 cumulative GPA and is a potential Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America® candidate.
2011 Sophomore Season
In his first season on the field, Bars saw playing time in 12 games and delivered one of the season's biggest special teams plays when he blocked an Illinois punt in the fourth quarter. After the block, the Nittany Lions kicked a field goal to pull within four points in the Leaders Division game Bars played a total of 97 snaps with a season-high 12 snaps each against Purdue, Nebraska and Wisconsin. He earned Academic All-Big Ten honors.
2010 Freshman Season
A four-year starter for Coach Dan McGugin at Montgomery Bell Academy, Bars was a Tennessee Sportswriters all-state selection in 2009. He was named to the Dandy Dozen as one of Tennessee's top 12 players. During his junior and senior campaigns, he combined for a total of 179 tackles, 11 sacks and four interceptions. Bars helped his squad to a state championship in 2007, and as captain, led his team to a state runner-up finish in 2009. Bars also lettered in track and basketball.
Full name is Bradley Joseph Bars. He is the son of Joe and Sally Bars. He has two younger brothers, Blake and Alex, and one younger sister, Lauren. His father and uncle, Mike Bars, played football at Notre Dame and his grandfather, Joe Bars Sr., was a pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Doug Eggleston, Bars' maternal grandfather, and his uncle, Don Kolcheff, both played football at Michigan. In his free time, Bars enjoys attending concerts, listening to music, playing the saxophone and piano, and water sports. He is planning to major in finance in the Smeal College of Business. Bars earned a perfect 4.00 grade-point average during the 2010 fall semester and had a 3.94 cumulative GPA after the spring semester. Born April 24, 1992 in Chicago, Ill.