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The Nittany Lions saw a former Western Pennsylvania district standout lineman, A.Q. Shipley, depart after last season, but will welcome another promising WPIAL lineman to the field this year in Mike Farrell. A first-team all-state selection at Shady Side Academy, Farrell has made good progress during his first year in Happy Valley. He has good size and skills and should be among the primary candidates to earn time in the offensive tackle rotation this year. He registered a 3.56 grade-point average through the spring semester.
2008 Freshman Season
Farrell was a team captain for Coach Dave Havern at Shady Side Academy. He was first-team all-section, All-WPIAL and all-state his senior year. Named the Allegheny Conference Outstanding Lineman-of-the-Year, Farrell helped lead his team to a 9-2 record and the WPIAL quarterfinals as a senior. Farrell earned three letters in football and lacrosse and also wrestled one year.
Full name is Michael John Farrell. He has two younger brothers, Chris and Jake. Farrell has a number of family members who attended Penn State, including his father, Mike, uncle Jim Farrell, and cousin, Matt Swilling. An uncle, Barry Swilling, played football at the University of Richmond. Farrell is undecided on a major. Born August 23, 1989 in Pittsburgh, Pa.