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Penn State Names Brandon Bell, Brian Gaia, And Von Walker Team Captains

Penn State announced its team captains for the upcoming season — linebackers Brandon Bell and Von Walker and center Brian Gaia — on Tuesday.

Walker follows in the footsteps of Christian Hackenberg as a two-time captain for the Nittany Lions, while Bell and Gaia have long been considered leaders of their respective units, having represented the program in Chicago at Big Ten Media Days earlier this summer with Nyeem Wartman-White.

Walker is football’s equivalent of the five-tool player in that he’s done it all during his first three years with the team. As a true freshman out of Central Mountain in nearby Mill Hall, Pa., Walker returned kicks and punts while also working with the running backs. He would later switch to safety before finding a home at outside linebacker for defensive coordinator Brent Pry.

Bell saw the field in his first season on campus under Bill O’Brien in 2013, and has improved leaps and bounds with each passing year. Last fall, the Mays Landing, N.J., native recorded a career-high 65 total tackles and 5.5 sacks — good for fifth and third on the defense, respectively.

Gaia, who hails from Pasadena, Md., arrived at Penn State as a defensive tackle, but made the move to offensive guard alongside classmate Derek Dowrey prior to the 2014 season due to depth concerns. With two seasons of starting experience under his belt, Gaia is ready to take the next step in his career as the shot-caller of Matt Limegrover’s revamped offensive line.

Only 11 more days until Penn State football!

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About the Author

Ethan Kasales

Ethan’s a senior journalism major who grew up in Lemont, a few minutes from campus. When he’s not covering Penn State sports, you can usually find him golfing or teaching snowboarding at Tussey Mountain. Feel free to email him at [email protected]


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