Blue White Roundtable: Alabama Week Edition
September 7, 2011 – | 1 Comment

Once again, it’s Adam Collyer over at BlackShoeDiaries providing the questions, and we, your humble bloggers, providing the answers. Mine are below, and you can venture off to the remote areas of the blogosphere that …

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Counting Down the Lions: #6

Submitted by on September 3, 20094 Comments

In joining Charlie’s Top PSU moments, we’ve added another daily countdown feature here at quebecpenspinning. We’re measuring up the 50 most important players to Penn State’s success in the 2009 season.

Checking in at #6 is the keystone (get it?) of Penn State’s offensive line: Stefen Wisniewski

Number: 61
Position: Center
Class: Junior
Height: 6’3
Weight: 297
Hometown: Bridgeville, PA
How’d He Get Here: It’s tough to objectively measure the worth of an offensive lineman, but no matter what matrix you use, Stefen Wisniewski was simply awesome as a prep player.  Twice named to the first team All-State, Wisniewski even earned an invitation to the Army All-American Game.  Needless to say, Wisniewski made waves in the recruiting landscape.  Rated as a 4-star player and as a top-10 guard by both Scout and Rivals, Wisniewski drew offers from big name schools like Michigan, Notre Dame, and Boston College, but in the end, his decision was a simple one: to follow in his family’s legacy as a Nittany Lion.
2008 Results: After appearing in 8 games as a true freshman in 2007, a season that saw Wisniewski named to the conference all-freshman team, Wisniewski was slotted in as a starter from the opening of spring practice in 2008.  As the youngest member of a veteran offensive line, Wisniewski more than held his own.  He was an important part part of unit that ranked 14th nationally in rush yards per game, 11th nationally in total offense, and 4th nationally in allowing just 13 sacks all year, and ended the season named to the second-team All-Conference.
What to Expect in 2009: The decision to switch Wisniewski to center was one made early into spring practice, and Wisniewski has adapted well to the position.  Joe Paterno put his faith behind Wisniewski during his spring teleconference (“Young Wisniewski will be fine,” he said) and hasn’t looked back since.  Wis more than held his own last year as a guard, and as he matures, he could well be the best player on the line for Penn State in 2009.  That is, if the Sports Illustrated cover jinx doesn’t get to him first.
Random Fact: The number of players with other familial ties to Penn State is staggering, and the Wisniewski family is yet another legacy.  His father, Leo, played defensive line for the Lions, and was named a captain in 1981, before 4 seasons in the NFL, and his uncle, Steve, was twice an All-American guard in his 4 years at Penn State, and was an 8-time Pro Bowler during his 13 year NFL career.
The Final Word: Though it’s tough to live up to the play of his uncle, Stefen is doing just that.  Last year, he was at times the best player on Penn State’s line last year.  During the Iowa game, for instance, Joe Paterno made the decision to switch Wisniewski with Rich Ohrnberger, so the veteran would be going up against Iowa’s Mitch King.  As we all know, the move entirely backfired, and while Wisniewski was more than able to handle Matt Kroul, Ohrnberger was eaten up by King.  Looking ahead to 2009, it’s pretty easy to see Wisniewski having another standout season, even if he does have to adjust to a new position.  Personally, I’m not worried that he’ll struggle in 2009, I’m worried that he’ll be so good, he opts for the draft instead of coming back for a senior season.

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