With the graduation of a stellar senior class after last season, Bill O'Brien entered last winter looking to see who would rise as new leaders for the team. Despite losing two veterans in the middle of the defense in Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges, he didn't have to look too far to find a leader for the defense in the form of middle linebacker Glenn Carson, the team's most experienced player heading into 2013. Following a superb off-season in the weight room and a strong spring practice session, the athletic, talented and tough Carson heads into his senior season primed to anchor the Penn State defense. An All-Big Ten and probable Butkus Award candidate, he started every game last year and his 24 career starts are the most of any player that will don the blue and white this season. The former Southern Regional High School all-state performer was third on the team with 85 tackles in 2012, and he will again be counted on to be a consistently productive force in the heart of the defense. A no-nonsense, intense and physical "Linebacker U." standout, Carson played an instrumental role on a Nittany Lion defense that ranked second in the Big Ten and No. 16 nationally in scoring defense at 19.1 ppg, holding six teams to 17 or fewer points in 2012. A two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, the hard-nosed Carson graduated in May 2013 with a 3.19 grade-point average in advertising/public relations. He compiled a 3.67 GPA during the spring semester and is working on a second degree, in labor and employment relations. He was an intern with the State College Spikes minor league baseball team this past summer. Carson is among eight returnees from New Jersey.
2012 (Junior Season)
Carson started all 12 games at middle linebacker and played an instrumental role for a defense that ranked second in the Big Ten and No. 16 nationally in scoring defense at 19.1 ppg, limiting six teams to 17 or fewer points. He was third on the team with 85 tackles, recording 3.0 tackles for loss, one sack and three pass breakups. He made nine tackles (six solo), including a sack, against Ohio. Carson made nine stops and had a pass breakup in the 35-7 win at Illinois and had five hits in the comeback victory over No. 24 Northwestern. He made four stops (three solo) in the 38-14 win at Iowa, four hits against Ohio State and four tackles and one pass breakup in the 34-9 win at Purdue. In a tight contest at No. 18 Nebraska, Carson recorded a career-best 14 tackles, tied for the team season-high, including 1.0 TFL. He registered seven stops in the 45-22 win over Indiana. Carson delivered a game-high 13 hits (9 solo) with a pass breakup in the 24-21 overtime win over Wisconsin on Senior Day. Carson was an Academic All-Big Ten selection for the second time.
2011 (Sophomore Season)
Carson grabbed hold of the starting assignment at middle linebacker and made 12 starts, playing in every game. He was fourth on the squad with 74 total tackles, forced two fumbles and made one fumble recovery. In his second start, he delivered a career-high 11 tackles against No. 2 Alabama, nearly doubling his previous high of six against Indiana in 2010. Carson forced his first career fumble in the big 20-14 win at Ohio State and made his first career fumble recovery and five tackles against Eastern Michigan. He recorded seven tackles at Indiana and six in the victory over Iowa. Carson made seven stops against Purdue and five in the 10-7 Leaders Division win over Illinois, including one tackle for loss. Carson recorded eight tackles against Nebraska and led the team and tied his career-high with 11 stops in the critical division win at Ohio State. In the regular-season finale at Wisconsin, Carson posted eight tackles and a forced fumble. He was on the field for 617 snaps, with highs of 75 against Nebraska and 72 at Wisconsin. Carson earned Academic All-Big Ten honors for the first time.
2010 (Freshman Season)
Carson enrolled as a full-time student in January 2010. He was shifted from linebacker to fullback just prior to preseason practice. He returned to linebacker after the Kent State game and was one of seven true freshmen to play, seeing action in every game. Carson made 12 tackles, with 0.5 tackles for loss. He recorded a season-high five hits against Illinois and made one stop at Minnesota, including 0.5 TFL. He also had one tackle at Ohio State and one hit against Michigan State. Carson made three solo stops against Florida in the Outback Bowl. He was on the field for 152 snaps, led by 24 at Iowa and 22 in the Outback Bowl.
A linebacker at Southern Regional High School, Carson helped the team to its first South Jersey Group IV title game. During his senior season under Coach Charles Donohue Sr., Carson was selected first-team all-state, Ocean County Player-of-the-Year, first-team All-South Jersey and first-team all-league. The four-star prospect tallied 98 tackles and broke the school record for career tackles. Also an outstanding wrestler, Carson was a three-time state finalist on the mat.
Full name is Glenn Andrew Carson Jr. He is the son of Glenn and Barbara-Ann Carson. He has one older sister, Christine. Carson is a relative of Tom Higgins, who played football for North Carolina and the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1950s. Carson enjoys spending time at the beach and fishing. He earned his degree in advertising/public relations in May 2013 and is working on a second degree, in labor and employment relations. Born December 5, 1990 in Manahawkin, N.J.