For Shane McGregor, It’s More Than Just a Touchdown
For most, it was just another meaningless six points en route to a 41-7 slaughter of Indiana State last Saturday at Beaver Stadium. The majority of the 96,461 fans had left and the starters had long been taken out of the game. But for one man, and for those who knew him, what was about to happen had more importance than most of the remaining fans could realize.
That man is Penn State’s third string quarterback Shane McGregor. Thrust into the third string role after the transfer of Kevin Newsome and the academic problems facing Paul Jones, McGregor knew he had a serious chance to play on Saturday. With 8:17 left on the clock in the fourth quarter, after leading the Nittany Lions to the three yard line, McGregor successfully converted a quarterback sneak for the first rush and first touchdown of his career.
“I just wanted to be ready when the time came,” McGregor said. “I had been thinking about all the different plays but the one thing I didn’t think about was getting the chance to run the ball and score.”
Shane McGregor’s path to Penn State is an interesting one. In his senior season at Central Cambria High School, he received all-conference honors and threw for 1,722 yards. However, Shane’s real accomplishments came in the classroom, where he never received a mark less than an A. His father is a Harvard graduate, and Shane could have attended Harvard, Yale, or Penn out of high school. But for McGregor, whose mother graduated from Penn State, there was never an option.
“I couldn’t turn it down once I got the offer to walk on at Penn State,” explained McGregor. “The people you meet here are just amazing. There’s just nothing like Happy Valley.”
More importantly, McGregor embodies the role of a traditional Penn State football player. His status as an athlete hardly defines his Penn State career. Just last month, he won a $5,000 scholarship from the Murray Foundation for an essay he wrote about Joe Paterno. Scheduled to graduate with a Journalism and English degree in the spring, he fits the mold of the Paterno “Grand Experiment” which values academic excellence and maturity more than athletic success. McGregor is currently looking into graduate programs at Penn State to pursue a master’s degree and a coveted fifth season of football eligibility.
With a tough schedule ahead for the Nittany Lions and the ongoing quarterback battle, McGregor knows that his future playing time is less than certain.
“I have faith that things are going to work out. God’s brought me to this point right now and he’s gonna bring me through.”
Most of all, Shane McGregor has seen four years of hard work and leadership finally pay off on the national stage.
And it couldn’t have happened to a better person.
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