We had a lot of fun with this question, and the response from fans was terrific!
I posed the question on Twitter and in my 2-Minute Morning video asking fans to tell us who is their all-time favorite Penn State football player and why.
As expected, many fans picked some of the biggest names in PSU history, such as Paul Posluszny, LaVar Arrington, Ki-Jana Carter, Saquon Barkley, Michael Robinson and John Cappelletti.
But a bunch of fans picked players who weren’t exactly superstars, which makes compiling a list like this so interesting. Such as this interesting choice:
Chip LaBarca. He was the holder and only got in as a WR in blowouts when I first started going to games with my grandfather when I was little. I always rooted for the underdog and wanted to see him get in and it made blowouts more exciting.
— Michael Boytim (@BoytimMichael) September 24, 2020
I’m sure LaBarca greatly appreciates that! On a sad note, though, LaBarca’s father, Chip Sr., passed away a week ago at age 83. Chip Sr. was a legendary high school football coach in New Jersey.
As for other fan favorites, Posluszny, Arrington, Carter, Robinson and Barkley received a bunch of mentions.
As a kid who’s first real season of watching Penn State football was 2005 (how lucky was I?!), it’s gotta be Posluszny. He embodies everything about Penn State that I loved. Truly embodied success with honor
— c33tweets (@c33tweets) September 24, 2020
Paul Posluszny and Michael Robinson. My goodness. 05/06 was our senior year, and wow…what an incredible season. The energy they brought on both sides of the ball is yet unmatched.
— Zach Smith (@zjsmith104) September 24, 2020
2005 was my first taste of real success with PSU football if you don't count 1994 when I was five years old. Because of that it's a toss up between Michael Robinson and Paul Posluszny for me. The hit Robinson made on that Minnesota DB that year was absurd.
— Andy Stine (@RiseAndStine) September 24, 2020
Lavar Arrington. He was just unreal, and I’m a Pitt fan…
— Jode (@TheBigChicken7) September 24, 2020
LaVar – dude was electric, you couldn’t take your eyes off of him.
— Seth Rappaport (@smrappaport) September 24, 2020
Numerous other PSU stars also received votes, with Barkley getting a lot of mentions.
Sean Lee and Saquon. Despite it manifesting much differently on the field they embodied what PSU is about. Great examples of when natural talent out worked their peers. They also carry themselves so well off the field and are good reps of the school
— Sean H (@seanR0617) September 24, 2020
Wanna say Kijana Carter because 94 was my junior year, but nobody was as electric as Saquon.
— drewflenner (@drewflenn) September 24, 2020
And speaking of Ki-Jana Carter …
Without hesitation, @mastakey32. His power & speed running style cemented my love for Penn State during my youth & my decision to eventually attend PSU.
We met him during gameday appearances on campus later in life & he didn’t disappoint. #WeAre pic.twitter.com/YiASHMDV8O
— Double_E33 🇺🇸 (@Double_e33) September 24, 2020
Here’s a look at a slew of responses and reasons why certain players were picked. Plus some love for members of the historic 2012 team.
Curtis Enis…I remember an article titled "Return to Sender" about him & O$U. He was a beast, that game vs O$U in '97 was awesome!
— PSU_Fan_81 (@gregobaker81) September 24, 2020
been fan for 40 years (i'm 50 years old) – has to be Shane Conlan – he epitomized LBU!!! Even looked the part to a T.
— David Lawrence (@DLawCT) September 24, 2020
Jack Ham , linebacker U , super smart and unbelievable talent
— Mark Sistik (@Sistik2009) September 24, 2020
@Michael_Mauti for holding the team together my senior year and being the vocal leader of the team to the media that we could all be proud of when we all needed hope.
— Vincent Gray (@Vin_Gray) September 24, 2020
Every player from the 2012 squad. None had to stay, but the ones who did have continued a legacy that started generations before them. We are… because of them!!
— MarialuvsPSU (@Maria94499368) September 24, 2020
@McSorley_IX Not the biggest, fastest, strongest but his will to win was ever present. He was the "never say die" leader that took them from an unranked afterthought to a top 10 program. You could see it from his first real game time vs Georgia, to his last vs Kentucky.
— Nathan (@bigknuterockne) September 24, 2020
For the obvious reasons: John Cappelletti & Saquon Barkley and Paul Posluszny & Michael Mauti … sorry, I cannot differentiate among these guys. WE ARE …
— Ed Miles (@EdMiles2) September 24, 2020
How bout John Shaffer
— John Furgele (@Furgele228) September 24, 2020
— John Furgele (@Furgele228) September 24, 2020
Conlan. Fearless player, elite instinctiveness, and arguably played his best ever game in PSUs biggest ever game. Not to mention he returned for his senior season when he could've gone pro.
— Ray Hoppel (@Ray_Hoppel) September 24, 2020
John Cappelletti- not flashy but got the job down. Personified excellence on and off the field.
— Kevin Williams (@shoresportsman) September 24, 2020
Matt Millen and Bruce Clark because they played when I was there and they were really good.
— JHarsh (@jhh226) September 24, 2020
No one played with more heart than Blair Thomas
— MICHAEL HENN (@PENNSTATEMIKE) September 24, 2020
Wally Triplett, for bringing the light of social justice to Penn State. During today's hate and deviceivness it's more important than ever to exclaim, WE ARE; and understand what that means.
— Bill Sabol (@bill_sabol) September 24, 2020
I have a 1A and a 1B, probably. First one would be Kerry Collins, who was the leader of an offense that couldn't be stopped. The second one would be LaVar Arrington, who made jaw-dropping defensive plays. His post-game pressers were awesome too.
— Todd Irwin (@ToddIrwin1) September 24, 2020
Michael Mauti. When Penn State had its greatest "challenge" it took a Penn State blue blood with deep, family Penn State ties to keep the bulk of that team together. . . As a side note, if I saw Wally Tripplet play, I might say him. That's another great story.
— Coronavirus bored (@Lance250774) September 24, 2020
The entire 1994 starting offense. That was the first year I followed the team real close (9yrs old). To this day, I don't believe there has been a more complete offense in college football. That team had "it". And they got screwed out of a national title by idiotic voters.
— Matt Povanda (@MattPovanda) September 24, 2020
Micah Parsons. He had nothing more to prove at the College Level, but he returned to lead Penn State to their first CFP Championship.
— Ryan (@rshorter1) September 24, 2020
And finally, here are some of the picks who may not have necessarily been superstars, but they won over fans’ hearts.
Joe Nastasi was definitely up there fo adolescent me…https://t.co/9Hc6Qa1PYD
— Jesse Kirkpatrick (@ClanKirkpatrick) September 24, 2020
@zmills720 Heart of the team and never quit during those tough years. The TD run up the side line to win #324 is a top moment at Beaver stadium
— Daniel Field (@doogiepsu) September 24, 2020
Derek Moye. Underrated. Clutch. Was a big part of some big wins. HM: Robbie Gould
— Jonathan "Hops" McVerry (@WaWaislife) September 24, 2020
Has to be @JordaNorwood. Came into an absolutely loaded WR room as the dark horse and tore it up. Fearless route runner. Not only shined at PSU but ends up making a massive heads up play as a punt returner in SB50 pic.twitter.com/NBDWvB6uCe
— Matt Freiler (@MattyFreshTV) September 24, 2020
Mark D’Onofrio. Dislocated shoulder before BYU game. Wouldn’t come off the field even w the injury. Warrior just kept tackling. After close loss at Miami, shut it down as I recall, surgery to prep for draft. Was never right again. Talk about leading by example!
— Russ McDaid (@RussMcDaid) September 24, 2020
Craig Fayak. https://t.co/ihU8JXv5nS
— John Raynar (@dj1i) September 24, 2020