Glenn Carson Living Up To The Penn State Football Tradition
Glenn Carson Jr. was a double varsity athlete for the football power-house Southern Regional High School in Manahawkin, NJ. He excelled in both football and wrestling and had his choice at either collegiate career but chose the former to play for Joe Paterno and the Nittany Lions.
Penn State has produced a historic number of successful players at his position including LaVar Arrington, Paul Posluszny, Sean Lee, Dan Connor, and NaVorro Bowman, to name a few from recent years. Carson was not phased by his predecessors, instead stepping right into this role and focusing on the future, not the past. In his first year starting for the Nittany Lions in 2011 he had 74 tackles and forced two fumbles.
“It means a lot that the coaches and players were able to trust me at such a young age and that I was able to show I was responsible enough to start my sophomore year,” Carson said.
In his junior season, Carson put up impressive numbers again with 85 tackles, the third most for a Penn State defense that was ranked 16th in the nation.
This year he is on track to keep up that pace, but besides the numbers and statistics what stands out is this senior class and Carson’s role in it is already historic. They are a part of the special group that could have bolted from State College when the sanctions were handed down but instead chose to tough it out and stick together.
“There has been a word that has been thrown around about this team — resiliency — a bunch of guys who never quit and never give up,” Carson said of the senior class’s legacy. “We have gone through a lot of ups and downs, not only this season but in our football careers, but I think we will be remembered as that word.”
It’s probably overstated, but the sense of accomplishment among this group of seniors that “continued the mission” is evident every day, according to Carson. Indeed, every player who remained before and after the 2012 season will always have a special place in Penn State history.
“We have tremendous amount of Penn State pride after all of the turmoil that we have been through. These guys that are left on the team really just bleed blue and white,” Carson said. “We love the program. Just the fact that we stayed and stuck with it because of the fans and because of the tradition shows our love for this school.”
Bill O’Brien understands how important this senior class is and what they have been through. While he has pointed out Carson as one player that will be immensely missed, O’Brien praised the class as a whole.
“They set the tone every week,” he said. “They showed our younger guys how to practice and came back with intensity whether it was following a win or a loss. They stuck with this university, they stuck with this program, and they didn’t have to after the sanctions came out. I think that says it all about this class.”
O’Brien went on to speak of his future in football saying that Carson is “a guy that you’re going to miss, just like you said the same thing about [Michael] Mauti last year. Glenn Carson just loves the game. He’ll have a chance to play pro football, so I don’t think his career is over. But he’s a guy that’s meant a lot to our football program.”
Carson knows that his last time at Beaver Stadium on Saturday is going to be an emotional experience. This weekend’s game against Nebraska is the final home game of the season, so there will be a Senior Day celebration before the game to honor the class.
“We can’t let our emotions get the best of us. With this team, we all love playing with each other it is definitely going to be an emotional time,” Carson said. “We just have to stay focused on the task. We have a tough Nebraska team that we are going against. We have got to play tough to get this win.”
While Carson may not have the same legend or numbers that Michael Mauti or Gerald Hodges had, he is one of those tough players that embodies what Penn State football and Linebacker U are all about. Carson will be missed by his teammates, the coaching staff, and the fans, but it will be great to see him give his all on the Beaver Stadium field just one more time this Saturday.