There may not be a Nittany Lion who is looking forward to the start of the 2012 season more than Pete Massaro. Quarterback Paul Jones and linebacker Michael Mauti also are high on this list and Massaro joins them as another impact player ready for a return to the field. One of the Big Ten's premier student-athletes, the fifth-year senior defensive end returned to the practice field this past spring after spending most of last year rehabilitating an anterior cruciate ligament tear in his left knee. The athletic and instinctive Massaro, who suffered the injury during spring practice in 2011, picked up right where he left off in 2010, when he made 11 starts. Following a strong spring, he is atop the depth chart at one of the defensive end positions and is ready to resume his highly productive play. The talented and hard-charging Massaro has a great motor and attitude and could emerge as one of the Big Ten's top playmakers. During the 2010 campaign, he recorded 37 tackles, with 8.0 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. The former Marple Newtown High School standout is returning from his second serious knee injury, having suffered a torn ACL in his right knee in the 2009 Blue-White game. Massaro graduated with a degree in finance in December 2011 and is working on a second degree, in economics, to be completed this fall. Massaro was a 2010 first-team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American®, one of three Nittany Lions so honored that year. He graduated with a superlative 3.85 cumulative grade-point average and should be a strong candidate for Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America® honors for a second time. Massaro is among 31 returning Nittany Lions from Eastern and Central Pennsylvania.
2011 Senior Season
Massaro missed the season while rehabilitating an anterior cruciate ligament tear in his left knee. He suffered the injury during spring practice. The Dean's List student graduated with a degree in finance in December and a superlative 3.85 grade-point average.
2010 Junior Season
Massaro started the final 11 games at defensive end and was fourth on the team with 8.0 TFL for minus-32 yards. He made 37 tackles (20 solo), with 3.5 sacks (minus-17), one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He was among the nation's-best three Nittany Lions that earned first-team CoSIDA Academic All-America honors. Massaro played in his first career Penn State game in the season-opener with Youngstown State, having missed the 2009 campaign with a serious knee injury. He recorded his first career sack for a loss of nine yards at No. 1 Alabama on the Crimson Tide's closing drive of the first half. In his first career start, Massaro made a tackle for loss in the first quarter of the 24-0 win over Kent State. In his second consecutive start, Massaro forced and recovered the first fumble of his career against Temple. He made three tackles, with 1.5 TFL, including a sack against the Owls. He recorded five tackles (one for a loss) against Illinois. He compiled four solo tackles at Minnesota, including one for a loss, and had two tackles in the win over Michigan. In the historic victory over Northwestern, Massaro recorded two tackles and his third sack of the season. He led all defensive linemen with five tackles against Ohio State. Massaro made two stops, including a half-sack for a loss of two yards against Indiana. He had three tackles against Michigan State and made four hits (three solo) against Florida in the Outback Bowl. Massaro also garnered Academic All-Big Ten accolades. He was on the field for 684 snaps last season, topped by 88 in the win at Minnesota and 72 in the primetime win over Michigan.
2009 Sophomore Season
Massaro tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the Blue-White game and was sidelined for the season.
2008 Freshman Season
Massaro was a three-year starter on both sides of the ball for Coach Ray Gionta at Marple Newtown HS. As a senior, he earned Class AAA second-team all-state honors from the Associated Press and PA Football News and first-team All-Southeastern Pennsylvania accolades by the Philadelphia Inquirer. He was selected first-team All-Delco twice and was honored by the Maxwell Football Club. A co-captain as a senior, Massaro made 47 tackles, including six sacks, with six quarterback hurries and caused two fumbles. As a junior, he recorded 52 tackles, with 14 tackles for losses, four sacks and two forced fumbles. Massaro played defensive end and was a kick snapper in the 2008 Big 33 Classic. A three-year starter in wrestling, Massaro was the Class AAA Central, Section VI and District I champion as a senior and won the Guy Florio Most Valuable Wrestler Award. He also played three years of baseball. Massaro was a member of the National Honor Society and Annenberg Science Symposium, won the Outstanding Contribution to Marple Newtown High School Award and received numerous scholar-athlete honors.
Full name is Peter Joseph Massaro. The son of Pete and Lisa Massaro, he has a younger sister, Alicia. A cousin, Matthew Massaro, attends Penn State. Massaro enjoys watersports, skiing and listening to music. He is a finance major and earned 2010 first-team CoSIDA Academic All-America honors. He owned a superlative 3.84 cumulative grade-point average after the spring semester. Born October 3, 1989 in Upland, Pa.