The need to develop depth and players ready to step up when called upon is constant regardless of the sport. With "Linebacker U." likely featuring two seniors and a junior in the starting lineup this fall, the coaching staff will be looking for the next wave of Nittany Lions to carry on the great tradition of the unit. Coming off an impressive first season on the field, redshirt sophomore Mike Hull appears ready to continue his progression into becoming a highly productive member of the defense and special teams. Playing in every game last year, the former Canon-McMillan High School All-American recorded 18 tackles, including 1.5 TFL, and a blocked kick in his freshman campaign. The talented, driven and instinctive Hull has made significant strides in his development on the field and in the weight room during the past year. A tough and smart student-athlete, he had a strong spring and is No. 2 to probable All-America candidate Gerald Hodges at one of the outside linebacker spots. With continued progress, Hull should have an opportunity to play a larger role for the defense and serve as a cornerstone on some special teams units. Hull has learned life and football lessons from a pair of former Nittany Lions -- his father, Tom, and Guy Montecalvo, his coach at Canon-McMillan High School. Tom Hull was a Penn State letterman at linebacker from 1971-73. Mike Hull is a Dean's List student, who finished the spring semester with a 3.54 grade-point average in finance. He earned Academic All-Big Ten honors last year and is a potential Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America® candidate. Hull is among 16 returning Nittany Lions who hail from Western Pennsylvania.
2011 Sophomore Season
In his first season on the field, Hull played in every game on special teams and defense and was an immediate contributor. He totaled 18 tackles, including 1.5 TFL, and had two pass breakups and one blocked kick. In his first career game, Hull made a team-high seven stops, with 0.5 tackles for loss, against Indiana State. He recorded two tackles and a pass breakup against No. 2 Alabama. In the non-conference clash at Temple, Hull blocked a punt in the second quarter, giving Penn State the ball at midfield to set up a touchdown drive. Hull made five tackles and had one pass breakup in the Eastern Michigan game. In the Leaders Division battle against Illinois, Hull was part of a punt return unit that put pressure on Illini punter Justin DuVernois throughout the game, blocking a kick in the fourth quarter to set up a scoring drive. Hull recorded two tackles at Wisconsin, including one for a loss, and made two stops against Houston in the TicketCity Bowl. Hull saw action on 222 plays, including highs of 45 snaps against Indiana State and 38 against Eastern Michigan. He earned Academic All-Big Ten honors.
2010 Freshman Season
Hull was a standout at Canon-McMillan HS, where he was coached by former Nittany Lion Guy Montecalvo. Rivals.com rated Hull the nation's No. 7 outside linebacker prospect. He was one of five members of the Nittany Lions' 2010 recruiting class selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl that year. As a senior, he recorded 97 tackles in just seven games, rushing for 443 yards and seven touchdowns. He led the WPIAL in rushing as a junior with more than 1,300 yards. Hull also was a three-year letterman in baseball and a team captain, a two-year letterman in wrestling, and a team captain, and was a member of the track and field team for one year.
Full name is Michael Thomas Hull. He is the son of Tom and Donna Hull. He has an older brother, Joey Trivilino, and younger sister, Ashley. His father and uncle, John Hull (1970-71), are Penn State football lettermen. His father, a linebacker, lettered from 1971-73, helping the Nittany Lions to a superlative 33-3 record, including a 12-0 mark in 1973. He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers and played for the 49ers and Green Bay Packers. Another uncle, Louis Kreznoski, played football at North Carolina State. During his free time, Mike enjoys playing tennis and golf and hanging out with friends. He plans to enroll in the Smeal College of Business. Born May 25, 1991 in Ellwood City, Pa.