In his first season on the field, Matt Lehman provided a huge boost to the Nittany Lions' passing attack and running game. Lehman played a significant role in Penn State having the second-highest total of tight end receptions in the nation with a combined 83 catches, totaling 1,097 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2012 (Stanford led with 93 tight end catches). Lehman was fourth on the team and second among tight ends with 24 catches for 296 yards (12.3) and three scores. He made at least one catch in each of the final nine games and his three touchdown catches were third-highest on the squad. Lehman has excellent physical attributes, skills and hands. He has made substantial progress in the strength and conditioning program and is a physical player who brings toughness to his blocking and passing game responsibilities. Lehman's path to becoming a major contributor for the Nittany Lions is far from the typical route the vast majority of college football players take. The former Newport High School standout began his college career as a student at Shippensburg University in 2009-10. After experiencing a Penn State football game as a fan, he transferred to Penn State Harrisburg during the 2010 fall semester before enrolling at the University Park campus in January 2011. Lehman tried out for the team and won a spot on the Penn State roster that spring and emerged as a top playmaker in 2012. Lehman earned Dean's List honors during the spring semester with a 3.56 grade-point average and was selected to the 2012 Academic All-Big Ten team. He brought a 3.22 GPA into the summer and was on schedule to graduate in August. Lehman is the squad's lone player who is married.
2012 (Junior Season)
In his first season on the field, Lehman appeared in every game and earned three starts. He was fourth on the team and second among tight ends with 24 catches for 296 yards (12.3) and three scores. Lehman made at least one catch in each of the final nine games and his three touchdown catches were third-highest on the squad. Lehman also played a critical role in helping pave the way for 1,000-yard rusher Zach Zwinak and protecting quarterback Matt McGloin during his record-setting campaign. In his first career game as a Nittany Lion, Lehman's first reception was good for a 14-yard touchdown catch and run against Ohio. In the win at Illinois, he made his first career start and hauled in a career-high five catches for 70 yards. He held onto the ball for a 21-yard touchdown grab after taking a big hit in the end zone and returned to make four catches in the second half. Lehman had two receptions for 21 yards against Ohio State, including a touchdown catch. Lehman made one catch for 12 yards in the 34-9 win at Purdue, helping Penn State to a season-high 506 yards of total offense. His three catches for 32 yards at No. 18 Nebraska included a 17-yard reception. In the victory over Indiana, Lehman made three catches for 46 yards, including a career-long 29-yard effort. He had two receptions for 22 yards in the thrilling 24-21 Senior Day overtime win over Wisconsin. Lehman was selected to the Academic All-Big Ten team.
2011 (Sophomore Season)
Lehman enrolled at the University Park campus in January 2011 and joined the squad in the spring. He did not see any game action.
Lehman played for Coach Robert Folk at Newport High School. During his senior season, he made 42 catches for 716 yards and five touchdowns as a tight end, and recorded 128 tackles, one fumble recovery and one interception on defense. As a junior, he posted 25 catches for 385 yards and two touchdowns and returned a fumble 85 yards for a score. Lehman was selected a team captain as a senior in football and twice in basketball. He earned nine letters between football, basketball and track and field. He helped Newport to the Tri-Valley League Championship in track and field and was the Tri-Valley League MVP, winning the league's javelin title and placing fifth in the state in the event. He averaged 20.7 points per game as a senior on the hardwood.
Full name is Matthew Caleb Lehman. He is married to Krista and is the squad's only married player. Lehman is the son of Mark and Robin Lehman, and has a younger brother, Luke. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He is majoring in kinesiology, in the physical and health education teacher education program. He is interested in a career as a physical education teacher, principal or coach. Born January 17, 1991 in Towanda, Pa.