Opportunities to take on a more significant role can occur at a moment's notice. For Dan Lawlor, that time occurred late in the Indiana game last October, when veteran fullback Matt Hahn suffered a season-ending knee injury at the end of a big run. The talented and strong Lawlor had played in two games prior to the win over the Hoosiers, but started the next three contests, with his first career start coming against Ohio State in a primetime showdown. A productive runner, blocker and receiver, Lawlor continues to improve in all facets of the game and should be an effective and reliable member of the offense and special teams. He is the Nittany Lions' most experienced returnee at fullback and will have an opportunity to play a significant role this season. Lawlor earned his degree in marketing last December and is working on a second degree, in telecommunications. A three-time all-state selection at Cumberland Valley HS, he was selected Academic All-Big Ten in 2007.
2007 Senior Season
Lawlor played in nine games, including the last seven, earning starts against Ohio State, Purdue and Temple. He saw increased playing time late in the season after senior Matt Hahn was injured. Lawlor gained 37 yards on nine carries for a strong 4.1 average, with one touchdown and a nine-yard catch against the Buckeyes. He gained a career-high 27 yards on five carries against Florida International, scoring his first collegiate touchdown on a 16-yard run. Lawlor ran for 10 yards on two carries in the 38-7 win over No. 19 Wisconsin. He was on the field for 190 plays, topped by 52 against Purdue and 37 at Michigan State. Lawlor received his degree in marketing in December and was selected Academic All-Big Ten.
2006 Junior Season
Battling upperclassmen BranDon Snow and Matt Hahn for playing time at fullback, Lawlor saw action against Akron, Youngstown State, Northwestern and Temple. Against the Owls, he demonstrated some of his athleticism and skills, bursting for a 17-yard gain and totaling 20 yards on two carries. For the season, he had three carries for 27 yards for an impressive 9.0 average.
2005 Sophomore Season
In his first season on the field, Lawlor saw action against Cincinnati, Central Michigan and Illinois. The Nittany Lions' No. 3 fullback, he gained four yards on his first collegiate carry -- against Central Michigan -- and gained four yards on his sole carry against the Illini.
2004 Freshman Season
Lawlor was a three-time Associated Press all-state pick for Coach Tim Rimpfel at Cumberland Valley HS. He led Cumberland Valley to a superlative 33-4 record and two Mid-Penn Conference titles during his three seasons as a starter. Lawlor scored an incredible 84 touchdowns in his career, including 36 as a senior. During his fabulous career, he gained 4,237 yards on 662 carries for a 6.4 yards per attempt average, leading his team in rushing his last three years. He also accumulated 1,024 receiving yards, leading the team in receiving his last two years, and scored seven two-point conversions. As a senior, Lawlor rushed for 1,577 yards and tallied 36 touchdowns, earning second-team all-state honors as a linebacker. PA Sports Fever Magazine selected him first-team Supreme Team, a finalist for Mr. Pennsylvania Football and the state District 3 Player-of-the-Year. The Carlisle Sentinel selected him as its Player-of-the-Year in 2003 and a first-team all-star three times. Lawlor was a first-team All-Mid Penn pick and the conference Player-of-the-Year as a senior. A prep teammate of Nittany Lion guard Wyatt Bowman, Lawlor played in the 2004 Big 33 Classic. He was a football and basketball captain and was a three-year starter on the hardwood.
Full name is Daniel Brien Lawlor. He is the son of Jim and Linda Lawlor. Lawlor has two older brothers, Jim and Kevin, and an older sister, Mary Kate. Jim played college football at Lebanon Valley College and Kevin played at Northeastern University. Lawlor is a marketing major in the Smeal College of Business. He enjoys model trains as a hobby. Born January 15, 1986 in Bryn Mawr, Pa.