PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Bill O’Brien: “Carl Nassib Proved Me Wrong”

The story has been beaten into the ground all over the internet in the last few weeks — Carl Nassib, the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and college football’s leader in sacks and forced fumbles (and second place in tackles for loss) not only dominated, but had more odds stacked against him than anyone in order to get there. Nassib never started a football game in high school, and had no offers to play college ball. He came to Penn State, walked onto the team, and worked his way into a scholarship position and national prominence. Bill O’Brien, Nassib’s first coach at Penn State and current Houston Texans head coach, spoke out on his incredible growth.

“Are you kidding me? You’re going to play pro football?” O’Brien said. “He proved me wrong. He worked his butt off in the weight room, got strong and got better and got bigger.”

Nassib himself reflected on his journey after being named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, saying, “You can’t control talent, and you can’t control size, but you can control how hard you work.”

Flash forward a few years and it looks like a certainty that Nassib will get himself drafted. He missed out on Heisman contention and was erroneously snubbed of a USA Today First Team All-American selection, as well as the Burlsworth and Nagurski trophies, but he’s still being considered to win a few others — and the fact that that’s the case for a former walk-on is ludicrous.

But O’Brien said it best. “[He’s] a great student, a really smart kid. Happy that he proved me wrong. Just a remarkable story.”

About the Author

Doug Leeson

Doug is a sophomore and Onward State's Assistant Managing Editor. Dislikes: popcorn, Rutgers, and a low #TimberCount. Likes: "Frozen," Rec Hall, and you. Contact him via email at [email protected] or on Twitter @DougLeeson.


More by Doug

Freshman 101: How To Buy Football Tickets

Tickets go on sale for graduate students on Monday, June 18, followed by seniors on Tuesday, juniors on Wednesday, sophomores on Thursday, and freshmen on Friday.

Pork State: Meet Sir Remington, State College’s Most Interesting Pet

Report: James Franklin Is Only Mildly Excited For This Opportunity


Penn State Women’s Soccer Poised For Strong 2018 Season

Erica Dambach’s Nittany Lions return a solid combination of experience and young talent. They’re ranked No. 4 to start the season.

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Penn State Hockey’s Evan Barratt, Aarne Talvitie Participate In World Junior Summer Showcase

Student Life

Start The Semester Off Right With These Welcome Week Activities

Don your brightly-colored college shirt and officially begin your Penn State career with these Welcome Week activities.

Nike Releases New Penn State Sneakers

Penn State Parking Office Runs Into Student Permit Purchase Issues

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Start The Semester Off Right With These Welcome Week Activities

Don your brightly-colored college shirt and officially begin your Penn State career with these Welcome Week activities.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Assessing Penn State’s Front Seven Following Tuesday’s Medical Retirements

Penn State’s defensive line rotation will be shaken up following Ryan Buchholz’s medical retirement from football, while the coaching staff is letting the linebackers duel it out during camp.

Send this to a friend