The breadth of talent at "Linebacker U." will give the Nittany Lions one of the deepest and most productive linebacker corps in the nation. After making seven starts last season, Nate Stupar returns to the defense as the lone senior linebacker. Playing in every game on defense and special teams in 2010, he will be a strong candidate to play a significant role for the Nittany Lions. Last year, he was third on the team with 73 tackles, recording 6.5 tackles for loss, with two sacks, one interception, a forced fumble and four pass breakups. An instinctive, intense and intelligent player, Stupar will be among the combatants for what could be a fierce battle for the starting outside linebacker assignments. A hard-hitter, he finished a strong spring practice atop the depth chart at one of the OLB posts. Stupar is a strong, versatile and tenacious athlete who loves to compete. One of the premier students on the squad, he should be a strong candidate for CoSIDA Academic All-America recognition. A Dean's List student, Stupar graduated in May with a 3.64 cumulative grade-point average. He compiled a superlative 3.95 GPA during the most recent spring semester and is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. The former State College Area HS all-state selection is a member of one of the most prominent families in program history. Stupar has an appreciation and understanding of Penn State football to a higher degree than most of his teammates. Stupar's father, Steve, was a Nittany Lion lineman from 1976-79. Uncles Ron, Doug and Jeff Hostetler all played for Penn State in the same era.
2010 Senior Season
Stupar played in every game on defense and special teams, making seven starts at outside linebacker. He was third on the team with 73 tackles, recording 6.5 tackles for loss (minus-28), with two sacks, one interception, a forced fumble and four pass breakups. Stupar ranked fifth on the squad in minus-yardage plays. His 1.5 tackles for loss against Youngstown State were a career-high and included a sack for minus-eight yards. He had four hits at No. 1 Alabama and he made three stops in the 24-0 win over Kent State. Stupar delivered the play of the game in the win over previously unbeaten Temple. He grabbed the second interception of his career in the third quarter, returning it 31 yards to the Temple 12 to set up Collin Wagner's go-ahead field goal. Stupar made a team-high-tying seven tackles, with five in the second half, and recorded a sack against the Owls. He recorded five tackles, including one for a loss of four yards, at Iowa. Stupar made a then-season-high nine tackles, including one for a loss, and had one pass breakup against Illinois. He compiled six stops in the win at Minnesota and contributed five tackles in the epic comeback win over Northwestern. Stupar led the linebacking corps with five solo tackles (7 total) at Ohio State. He had an active day against Indiana, registering a team-high 10 tackles (six solo), the second-highest total of his career. He made a game-high-tying 10 hits against No. 10 Michigan State for his second consecutive double-figure tackle game and the third of his career. Stupar also forced his first career fumble against the Spartans. He saw action on 619 snaps, topped by 78 against Illinois and 66 at Minnesota. Stupar earned Academic All-Big Ten honors for the third time. He spent a portion of his summer participating in an internship with a video production crew at Camp Woodward, near State College.
2009 Junior Season
Stupar recorded a career-high 12 tackles (eight solo), including a sack, in the win over Akron to launch a season that saw him play in every game on defense and special teams. He made 31 tackles, the second-highest total among defensive reserves, and earned his first two career starts. He also had 1.5 tackles for loss and one interception. Stupar was on the field for 324 plays, led by 65 against Akron, as he took the field in the first quarter when Navorro Bowman was injured. Stupar made his first career start against Syracuse and recorded five stops. He also collected his first career interception, returning it 17 yards to the Orange two-yard line to set up a touchdown. Stupar started against Temple and again recorded five tackles, helping hold the Owls to two field goals. He suffered a slight ankle sprain that limited his time the following week against Iowa. In the road win at Illinois, he made three hits and he had two stops each against Ohio State and Indiana. Stupar compiled a 3.85 grade-point average during the fall semester and was selected Academic All-Big Ten for the second time.
2008 Sophomore Season
Stupar was a key contributor for the special teams and gained experience on defense. Playing in every game, he recorded 21 tackles, blocked two punts and forced another punter to abandon his kick. In his second collegiate game, Stupar broke through the Oregon State punt protection unit and forced the Beavers' punter to run with the ball. Stupar dropped him for a nine-yard loss and two plays later Evan Royster burst 28 yards to give Penn State a 21-0 lead en route to a 45-14 victory. After several near misses on punt block attempts, Stupar finally got one in the 46-17 win over Michigan. He got a hand on a third-quarter punt, and it traveled only 12 yards. The deflection gave Penn State excellent field position and resulted in a Kevin Kelly 32-yard field goal for a 29-17 lead and a continuation of the game's momentum swing. Stupar recorded his second blocked punt against Indiana deep in Hoosier territory, resulting in a Kelly field goal and a lead the Lions would not relinquish in the 34-7 victory. Playing in every game and 290 snaps, Stupar made a season-high five tackles each against Coastal Carolina and Oregon State. He also had two stops each in the wins over Syracuse, Temple, Wisconsin and Indiana. He was on the field for a season-high 42 plays against Coastal Carolina. Stupar compiled a 3.58 grade-point average during the fall semester to gain Dean's List and Academic All-Big Ten honors.
2007 Freshman Season
Redshirt season. Stupar tied for the game-high in tackles with six in the 2008 Blue-White game.
Rated among the nation's Top 10 defensive end/OLB prep prospects in 2006, Stupar was a versatile standout for Coach Al Wolski at State College Area HS. He played multiple positions during his prep career, including tight end, running back, receiver, linebacker and defensive end. Stupar was named the Pennsylvania Defensive Player-of-the-Year and the Mid-Penn Defensive MVP as a senior. He was selected first-team Associated Press all-state as a junior and senior. During his career, he recorded 192 tackles, including 31 sacks, and one interception. A team captain, he made 60 stops with eight sacks as a senior. Stupar was a prolific receiver, with 91 career catches for 1,388 yards and 18 touchdowns, including 39 grabs for 624 yards and eight scores as a senior. He also ran for 216 yards on 24 carries and scored two touchdowns in 2006. A 2007 Big 33 selection, Stupar was instrumental in State College Area reaching the 2006 Pennsylvania Class AAAA state semifinals. An honor roll student, he also was a two-year starter for the basketball and lacrosse squads.
Full name is Stephen Nathan Stupar. He is the son of Stephen and Cher Stupar, both Penn State graduates. He has two brothers, Jonathan and Robby, and two sisters, Dyanna and Katlyn. His father was a lineman at Penn State from 1976-79. Jonathan played tight end at Virginia from 2004-07 and is in his fourth season with the NFL's Buffalo Bills. Katlyn played basketball at the Pennsylvania College of Technology, scoring more than 1,000 career points. Uncles Ron, Doug and Jeff Hostetler all played football for the Nittany Lions in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Jeff, who finished his college career at West Virginia, was a quarterback in the NFL with the New York Giants, Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders and Washington Redskins. Another uncle, Todd Hostetler, played baseball for the Nittany Lions, lettering in 1981-82 and `84-85. A cousin, Bekah Hostetler, was a standout on the Penn State field hockey team from 2002-05. Also, a grandfather, Frank Stupar, played football at Tennessee. In his spare time. Stupar enjoys paintball and video games. Stupar graduated in May 2011 with a degree in film-video and is interested in a career directing films or videos. He is enrolled in sociology this semester and is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.