Q&A; with Penn State’s Paul Posluszny

By Erin Foley

Paul Posluszny is a junior outside linebacker and captain for Penn State. He leads the Nittany Lions with 82 tackles to rank third in the Big Ten and 11th in the nation with 11.7 tackles per game. Recently, Posluszny was named a semifinalist for the 36th Rotary Lombardi Award, presented to the nation’s top lineman or linebacker. The 6-2, 234-pound linebacker is one of 12 semifinalists up for the prestigious award and one of only three non-seniors chosen.

Q: How did you start playing football?

A: I started playing when I was six, back home in the Pittsburgh area, I think my dad just said, ‘Hey, do you want to try something new and play football?’ So I said sure and gave it a shot.

Q: What made you want to go to Penn State?

A: When I visited Penn State I just really felt comfortable with the coaches and the people there; it just really felt like home. When I would go to visit other schools, I couldn’t really imagine myself being on that campus for four years, walking around, being an actual student there. But when I went to Penn State, I just felt really comfortable.

Q: What in particular is the best thing about Penn State?

A: One of my favorite things about it, maybe the best thing, is Linebacker U. Anytime you play a position like linebacker at a school known for that, it’s really an honor and a privilege; it’s something that we try to uphold.

Q: What have you seen in other locker rooms or stadiums that you would want to bring back to your school?

A: I saw Oregon’s locker room in a magazine, and they had Playstations and flat-screen TVs in their locker rooms. And their locker combinations were electronic key; it was unreal. They just got it renovated, I guess, and their locker room from the pictures looked unreal. That’s one locker room I’d like to have.

Q: Did you have a Starter jacket as a kid, and if so, what team was on it?

A: Seattle Supersonics. Black, it was real nice. I don’t know why Seattle, I think I just really liked the colors.

Q: What is the hardest thing about being a student-athlete?

A: I guess trying to balance school and football, especially when you have serious classes, and things get really hard. A lot of times, you don’t want to go to class or worry about homework, but I think that’s the toughest thing because you try to do well in both – to find a happy medium where you can get all your work done, but still do everything you need to do for football.

Q: Do you have any pre-game rituals?

A: I don’t think so. The one thing I always do the night before a game is talk to my older brother. I always call on a Friday night before a game; but on actual game days, the only thing I do all the time is pray. I don’t do anything particular or wear anything, I just like to go out and play.

Q: If you could play any other sport at any other school, what would you choose?

A: I would play baseball at Miami. I just think Miami is beautiful, it’s right on the beach.

Q: What other sports do you like to play in your free time?

A: Baseball is my favorite. I used to like basketball, but I don’t like it anymore. I don’t know what happened with that. One sport that we don’t have back where I’m from, so I’ve never really played it or saw it until I got to college, was lacrosse, but I would like to give that a shot and see how that is because it’s the same type of athletes, just a little bit smaller. But that’s one thing I wouldn’t mind trying out.

Q: What is your major, and how did you pick it?

A: Right now, my major is finance, and how I picked that, I still don’t know. I knew I wanted to do some type of business, and a couple of older friends and teammates who just graduated were like, ‘It’s not bad, it’s manageable, it’s a good degree.’ So I said, alright I’ll give it a shot. So I’m starting into that this fall. I haven’t actually taken a real finance class yet. I might take the first one and hate it, so we’ll see how it goes.

Q: What do you usually like on your pizza?

A: A lot of times I just go cheese, but I like pepperoni and sausage. Meat Lover’s pizza from Pizza Hut, that’s my favorite, I like that.

Q: What is your breakfast of champions?

A: I’m not even sure what I eat before a game, I think I go with french toast before a game. If it’s after a workout, I always need to have a big bowl of oatmeal with a banana in it, cut up a banana, put it in there, yogurt, glass of orange juice and a glass of milk.