A strong contributor on special teams throughout his career, Jason Ganter did his part to help the Penn State defense secure a shutout victory over Temple last season. With the Owls having failed to cross midfield, Ganter grabbed his first career interception at the Penn State 21-yard line midway through the fourth quarter to end Temple's last threat to get on the scoreboard. In his senior season, Ganter continues his dedicated hard work in pursuit of more opportunities to contribute to the defense and special teams. The longest game in Penn State history could have been extended even further and the outcome remained in the balance if not for Ganter's instincts and skills. The Nittany Lions' holder on field goals and placements, Ganter and then-freshman kicker Kevin Kelly lined up for the potential game-winning field goal in the third overtime of the 2006 FedEx Orange Bowl. With the ball on the Florida State 12-yard line, the Lions lined up for a field goal on second down and nine, but the coaching staff had called for a fake. Ganter, though, saw the Seminoles' alignment, called off the fake, put the snap to the turf and watched Kelly's kick sail through the uprights for the dramatic 26-23 victory as the clock approached 1 a.m. Kelly's game-winning kick is a play that will live in Nittany Lion lore, another fantastic moment that Ganter has witnessed throughout his life around the Penn State football program. He is one of four sons of Fran Ganter, who was named Associate Athletic Director for Football Administration in 2004 after 33 years as a Nittany Lion assistant football coach. One of Jason's older brothers, Chris, played quarterback for the Lions from 2001-04. Another older brother, Jonathan, played football at Princeton and a younger brother, Ben, will be a sophomore quarterback at Cornell this fall. Ganter was one of the squad's primary organizers of the Penn State Lift for Life the last two years, with the 2006 event raising more than $60,000 to benefit the Kidney Cancer Association. An accomplished student-athlete at State College Area HS, Ganter is looking to turn his hard work, talents and dedication into more playing time this fall. He likely will enter preseason battling for time in the rotation at Hero. Ganter has a better than 3.00 grade-point average and is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. He is on schedule to earn his degree in economics in December.
2006 Senior Season
Ganter played on special teams and saw some duty on defense, making a big play in the shutout over Temple. With Temple having failed to cross midfield, Ganter grabbed his first career interception at the Penn State 21-yard line midway through the fourth quarter to end the Owls' last threat to get on the scoreboard. He saw action on a season-high 11 plays against Temple. Ganter was selected Academic All-Big Ten for the third consecutive year.
2005 Junior Season
Ganter's skills and hard work translated into more playing time on defense and special teams. He played in every game and took over the duties as the holder on placements in midseason. Ganter recorded three solo tackles, with one each against South Florida, Central Michigan and Northwestern. His hustle helped deliver a big play at Northwestern, forcing and recovering a fumble on a kickoff return to give the Lions excellent field position. Ganter was on the field for a season-high 22 plays in the win at Illinois.
2004 Sophomore Season
Ganter's dedication and hard work earned him playing time in every game on defense and special teams. He was on the field for 37 plays, with a season-high 10 snaps against Akron.
2003 Freshman Season
Ganter was a three-year starter and letterman at State College Area HS, serving as captain for Coach Dave Lintal. Ganter played wide receiver and defensive back for the Little Lions. During his senior season, he made 12 catches for 110 yards and one touchdown and 54 tackles and five interceptions. In his career, he recorded 24 receptions for 210 yards and one touchdown and tallied 74 tackles and seven interceptions. He was selected first-team All-Allegheny Conference and played in the Lezzer Lumber All-Star game in 2003. Ganter also was a starter and letterman on the baseball and track teams, participating in the sprint events and throwing the javelin and discus.
Full name is Jason Davin Ganter. His father, Fran, was named Penn State's Associate Athletic Director for Football Administration in February 2004 after 33 years on the Nittany Lions' coaching staff. Jason has two older brothers, Jonathan and Chris, and a younger brother, Ben. Jonathan played football at Princeton and Chris was a quarterback with the Nittany Lions from 2001-04. Ben will be a sophomore quarterback at Cornell this fall. An uncle, Jimmy Cefalo, was a standout wide receiver for Penn State and the Miami Dolphins. Jason enjoys bowling in his spare time. He is an economics major and earned Academic All-Big Ten recognition in 2004, '05 and '06. Born January 25, 1985 in State College, Pa.