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Penn State Football’s Charlie Shuman Gets Surprise Scholarship Announcement

Surprise scholarship announcements are one of the best things to come out of college football training camps, but Penn State took its announcement of offensive lineman Charlie Shuman’s scholarship to another level.

When he was in high school, Shuman helped create the Big Helping Little foundation in his hometown as part of a project for the National Honors Society. The foundation helps young children battle rare diseases and was inspired by the big lineman’s unique friendship with a little girl named Maiya Colón.

Colón has a rare disease that causes bones to develop where they typically aren’t found, which causes intense discomfort, joint stiffness, and, in some cases, complete immobility in certain areas.

Her parents reached out to Penn State head coach James Franklin about coming out to Happy Valley to watch Shuman and the rest of the team practice. Franklin used their visit as an opportunity to surprise Shuman about his new football scholarship.

The 6-foot-8 lineman proudly introduced his guests to his teammates on the field of Beaver Stadium, thinking that little Maiya would simply break the team down at the end of practice. With Maiya in his arms, Shuman learned that he would now be on football scholarship when Franklin told the little girl how to break the team down.

“Maiya, what are we gonna say,” Franklin asked with his signature enthusiasm. “We’re gonna say, ‘Shu, you’re on scholarship!'”

As Shuman was congratulated by his teammates and coaches, Franklin embraced the big lineman’s parents, John and Cindy. The fifth-year senior made his Penn State debut in the team’s 56-0 victory over Georgia State last season.

In addition to raising thousands of dollars for the Big Helping Little foundation, Shuman has danced in each of the past two THON weekends at the Bryce Jordan Center. Based on his selflessness and willingness to help out (and create) great charitable initiatives, it’s easy to see why Shuman’s teammates were so excited to hear the news about his scholarship.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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