There are times when Bani Gbadyu probably can't fathom how much the second half of his young life has changed from the uncer tainty and challenges of the first. Bor n in war-tor n Liberia, Bani, his father and brother escaped the revolution and pover ty, taking a boat across the Atlantic to the United States when he was 10. They had family already living in the Gaithersburg, Md., area, so after ar riving in New York City, that's where they eventually settled. The multi-talented and athletic Gbadyu worked his way to become a first-team all-state selection at Quince Orchard HS and has been a productive contributor for the Nittany Lions the past three seasons. A fifth-year senior, he is one of the most experienced players on the defense and should be among the primar y challengers for a star ting assignment at "Linebacker U." His ef for ts to become a full-time star ter were bolstered in the spring, when the coaching staf f selected Gbadyu as recipient of the 2010 Jim O'Hora Award, presented to the defense's most improved player. A highly-skilled and instinctive player, he has worked hard to emerge as a contributor for the defense and special teams and has eight career star ts. The strong and mobile Gbadyu is the second Nittany Lion in the last decade to have matric- ulated to Nittany Valley from Liberia, joining Tamba Hali, who ear ned All-America honors in helping Penn State win the 2005 Big Ten Championship. Gbadyu is one of 10 retur ning Nittany Lions from Maryland.
Gbadyu saw action in all 13 games, earning five starts, on defense and special teams. He ranked seventh on the squad with 37 tackles, the highest total among players that did not start at least half the games. He also had 0.5 tackles for loss, one forced fumble and a pass breakup in con- tributing to Penn State's Top 10 defense. Gbadyu was thrust into the starting lineup against Iowa, when Sean Lee suffered a sprained knee the week prior, and he responded with seven tackles. The contest against the Hawkeyes would mark the first of five consecutive star ts for Gbadyu and he made the most of the oppor tunity. He recorded a career-high eight hits in the win at Illinois and made five stops and forced a fumble in the 35-10 victory at Michigan. Gbadyu also made six tackles in the win over Temple. He played on 374 snaps, led by 53 and 51 in the wins at Michigan State and Illinois, respectively.
2008 Junior Season
2007 Sophomore Season
2006 Freshman Season
Gbadyu's 2008 Game-by-Game