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The first No. 0 in PSU history will be … Jonathan Sutherland (with video interview)

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Jonathan Sutherland (26)

Penn State has added a new feature this season, giving one player the jersey No. 0 to represent “a tough, dependable, disciplined, physical leader, who inspires teammates with his accountability & production.”

Saturday night, the Nittany Lions revealed who will be wearing that jersey number: Redshirt junior safety Jonathan Sutherland.

He was asked recently, before being chose for it, about the No. 0 and who would be the best candidate on the team to wear it.

“My reaction was it was pretty cool, obviously, with that new number coming out and the tradition that’s behind it,” Sutherland said. “Obviously there’s plenty of guys who are capable of wearing that number because we have hard-working and disciplined and accountable players on our team. So it’s very up for grabs.”

Sutherland also is one of the team captains this season for the Lions. He is from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and has earned the respect of his teammates and coaches through his play on the field and character off it.

Sutherland earned the captain’s award at the team’s awards banquet last year.

He dealt with an unfortunate incident last year when a Penn State alum sent him a letter criticizing his dreadlocks, a situation that Sutherland handled with grace and maturity.

Here’s Sutherland’s entire Zoom interview from media day.

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Here’s what the No. 0 means for Penn State, from a recent video released by the university.

“One of us is going to earn the right to represent our special teams with a new number: Zero. The individual wearing zero represents all of us and drives our culture. He is a tough, dependable, disciplined, physical leader who inspires teammates with his accountability and production. Ultimately, he is a game-changer.”

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Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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