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Episode 100: Drew Astorino Reflects on Penn State, Joe Paterno

Penn State safety discusses his training for a shot at the NFL

The 2011 season had plenty of negative story lines pollute the college football world, starting with realignment debates and tension in the south west and along the east coast and ending with one of the most unique twists in college athletics history. The Jerry Sandusky scandal rocked Penn State’s campus in a way nobody could ever imagine, just as Penn State was feeling confident about their chances at a Big Ten championship title.

A week after an Illinois field goal attempt clanked off the goal post, handing Joe Paterno his 409th career victory and moving him past Eddie Robinson for most all-time division one victories, the world cam crashing down on the program off the field. Sandusky’s malicious acts resulted in the firing of Penn State president, and BCS Presidential oversight committee chairman, Graham Spanier and Paterno, which sparked a raucous reaction from the student body. Tom Bradley was named interim head coach for the remainder of the season, which saw Penn State drop two of their final three regular season games and end with another loss in the TicketCity Bowl against Houston. Despite losing game son the field as the university and community find ways to heal and move forward, Drew Astorino was right in the middle of it all.

Astorino, a team captain, saw the players on his team come together in a way that not many teams may have. From the moment Penn State walked out of the tunnel at Beaver Stadium prior to taking on Nebraska in the first game following the Sandusky revelations and the firing of Paterno through the bitter end against Wisconsin and Houston, the 2011 Nittany Lions formed a bond that was as strong as could be. It was through these tough times that allowed Penn State’s student-athletes to rally together and grow in more ways than one.

Now Astorino is working hard to try and get a crack in the NFL, and he took some time to reflect on the past year, and his path to Penn State, and to discuss what he is doing to try and get an opportunity to play on Sundays this fall.

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Thanks to CRM Sports Management for setting up this interview with Drew Astorino and our previous conversation with William & Mary defensive end Marcus Hyde.

I would also like to thank you, the readers and podcast listeners, for a heck of a year. Today’s podcast and corresponding blog entry mark the 100th edition of the podcast and this site’s 500th entry. Hopefully it goes without saying that it would not be possible with you and the support of this site’s advertisers and partners. Here’s hoping for a fun ride to the 200th episode of the podcast, and another 500 blog entries. Thanks for being a part of it all.

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About the Author

Kevin McGuire
Contributor to College Football Talk on Also a contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Member of Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow on Twitter @KevinOnCFB.