Penn State Football’s Charlie Shuman Returns To Dance In Second THON
THON weekend at Penn State is fast approaching, which means hundreds of students from all walks of life are preparing to stand, dance, and fight pediatric cancer for 46 consecutive hours.
Penn State offensive lineman Charlie Shuman may literally stand out from the rest of the dancers throughout the event. The senior is listed at a towering 6’8″, so it shouldn’t be difficult to pick him out from the sea of dancers on the floor of the Bryce Jordan Center.
Although the Rochester, NY, native is a very large man, his motivation and passion for THON may be even bigger.
“I did a fundraiser with a little boy in my hometown during my senior year of high school,” he said. “He has a rare form of spinal cancer and a brain tumor and is one of my counselor’s nephews. Through football, I got that experience and it kind of hit home to me. Following his story and how he’s doing now is really where [my involvement in THON] kind of started. That’s half of my motivation, knowing I’m doing it for someone I know.”
Unlike a majority of the other dancers, Shuman is a veteran THON dancer. He danced last year for the first time and will do it all over again this weekend in the fight against pediatric cancer. Shuman took a lot away from his first experience as a THON dancer and is looking forward to doing it all over again.
“It feels good. I’m excited,” he said. “I need to drink more and eat more. I got a little dehydrated at the end [of THON] last year. I don’t think I’ve truly gone out of my way to prepare; I think football’s prepared me for it. With all the workouts we do and all that, it puts me in a great position.”
Shuman will once again be joined by a few other student-athletes, including four dancing through SAAB. He will also have a familiar face on the floor with him — Nittany Lions special teams captain Nick Scott.
“It’s a great experience,” he said. “Having the support of my teammates for the second time around means the world to me. I’m really excited to have another football player with me on the floor. Nick and I have been going back and forth at workouts for the last couple weeks. We got to get ready and make sure we’re prepared and flexible for the weekend.”
Penn State football players are consistently part of THON, whether it’s through Athlete Hour, the Pep Rally, or on the floor dancing for all 46. The Nittany Lions have a voice like no one else at Penn State, which Shuman has used valiantly for the cause in his time in Happy Valley.
“Nick and I have a huge platform,” he said. “We can make a huge difference in THON. Especially having a second time to dance and using that platform is unreal. We can take advantage of what we have while we have it; football’s not going to last forever, so taking advantage of what we have is really important.”