Say what you will about Sean Clifford, and by now, you probably have said plenty about Penn State’s starting quarterback.
In more than three and a half seasons as the starter and more than five and a half with the program overall, Clifford’s received his share of praise from Penn State’s fanbase.
But he’s also taken plenty of verbal abuse.
Anybody looking for Clifford to vent his frustrations publicly, however, will be disappointed.
He didn’t vent after Penn State’s win over Minnesota, a game in which Clifford got booed during player introductions.
He didn’t complain after Penn State’s loss to Ohio State at Beaver Stadium the next week, despite a shaky performance that featured four turnovers. He certainly wasn’t going to lash out after a 31-point win at Indiana this past Saturday.
Perspective. That’s how.
Well worth a listen.
Sean Clifford on blocking out the noise and focusing on what's important to him:
"I'm living out my dream of playing college football at the highest level, for a team that I've been a captain for, for four years, for a community that has had my back (1/2) pic.twitter.com/s4Y3dkd0zJ
— The Football Letter (@PSUFBLetter) November 6, 2022
“I think that the No. 1 thing for me is, if you take all (the outside noise) away, and you look at what I’m doing right now. I’m living out my dream of playing college football at the highest level for a team that I’ve been a captain of for four years,” Clifford told reporters after Saturday’s game against Indiana, “for a community that has had my back and, realistically, has been very good to me. So I can’t get mad at people being critical, and I won’t get angry at people being critical. I’m just blessed to be in the position that I am. “
“I’m living out a dream that I’ve had for years and years and years,” Clifford said. “So, for me, I don’t really pay attention to (outside noise) because I’m just like the happiest dude.”
This doesn’t mean Clifford is always happy, especially when Penn State has setbacks, as it did against Ohio State.
But, although Penn State won’t go undefeated, win the Big Ten or make the College Football Playoff in Clifford’s tenure, he feels lucky to be a Nittany Lion.
“I mean, it sucks to lose, that’s for sure,” he said, “and don’t get me wrong, I would love to win every game, obviously. Very competitive. But at the same time, I wake up every day, win or lose, a very happy person, just because not many people get to experience this. So (I’m) taking every day as a blessing for sure.”