|Familiar name at Penn State: Wisniewski at guard|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 11 July 2008 22:11|
Sophomore Stefen Wisniewski hopes he can be just as good as his uncle, Steve, a college standout in the 1980s who went on to a distinguished career in the NFL.
The younger Wisniewski knows it's going to take some work, though. His uncle and father, Leo, who also played defensive line at Penn State, were renowned for their conditioning, among other skills.
``I don't think it's any pressure. I just think it's pretty cool, honestly,'' Wisniewski said when asked if he felt extra pressure because of his pedigree. ``I definitely want to live up to the name and add to the legacy, but I don't feel any pressure to do that.''
His career is off to a good start.
Coach Joe Paterno doesn't like to play freshmen often, which makes the fact that Wisniewski and linebacker Chris Colasanti were the only true freshmen to see playing time last year even more impressive. Wisniewski was also the first true freshman to start on the offensive line since Joe Iorio in 1999.
All those tutoring sessions from his father and uncle and their teammates appear to be paying off. Now he's slated to start at guard on a unit considered to be one of the team's strengths.
``I was ready when I got up here, and it's because of them,'' Wisniewski said Friday at ``Lift for Life,'' a player-organized weightlifting competition held every year to benefit the Kidney Cancer Association.
The man nicknamed ``Wiz'' has turned heads among his linemates, too.
``He has a strong motor on him. He's definitely ahead of the game,'' left tackle Gerald Cadogan. ``I do extra (work), but he does extra, on extra, on extra.''
The offensive linemen might have to be on their toes this offseason, with a new quarterback stepping into the starting lineup in the fall and, possibly, a return to a spread-like offensive attack that worked in 2005.
On Friday, though, most players said they either weren't privy to Paterno's plan yet, or didn't want to divulge much about any plans already in place. Pat Devlin, competing with Daryll Clark for the starting quarterback job, said the team has had a couple new plays installed since the start of summer workouts.
Paterno wasn't seen at the charity event early on Friday, though he did get some good news when Gerald Cadogan's brother, Nate, gave a verbal commitment to attend Penn State next fall. Nate Cadogan, a two-way linemen, will be a high school senior this fall in Portsmouth, Ohio.
Nate Cadogan said the clincher to committing was the status of Paterno and the coaching staff. The 81-year-old Paterno is entering the last year of his contract.
Cadogan said Paterno told him he planned to be around after this upcoming season. The coach has often told recruits in previous years that he planned to coach for their entire careers.
``Until God calls him back, he'll be here until then,'' Cadogan said in relaying Paterno's answer.
Both Paterno and university president Graham Spanier have said they will revisit the issue of Paterno's future after this season, and that the Hall of Fame coach doesn't need a contract to stay on the sideline.