Onward Investigates: Overanalyzing Penn State Football Players’ Tweets

The NFL’s free agency period has Twitter users on the edge of their seats, leading to some crazy interactions.

Superstar defensive end JJ Watt received nearly 191,000 likes and 22,000 retweets on a tweet about basic biology. Are we serious, folks?

Fans and analysts alike tried their best to dive deep into this tweet to find out where Watt would end up in free agency. For example, fans discovered that there was a mitochondria research facility located in Buffalo, New York. All of a sudden, Watt was a lock to play for the Bills next season.

Of course, none of this mattered in the slightest, and Watt signed with the Arizona Cardinals. Regardless, now curious about Penn State’s own football program, we decided to inspect some tweets from the Nittany Lions to find any deeper meanings.

Saquon Barkley

Most people seem to think this tweet reflects Barkley’s support of Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker in response to his initial NBA All-Star game snub. Think again!

We did some digging and found that the D-Book is a rather large volume of information on “how to answer legal questions, draft legal opinions, and pass Paper D of the European Qualifying Examination.”

After some more research, we learned that this book is one of many texts used to study for the European Qualifying Examination, which is a high-level test designed to train people seeking to enter the field of European patent law.

To sum it all up, Barkley’s tweet tells us that he is deep in the world of European patent law, which, depending on the level of his involvement, may put his promising NFL career in jeopardy. Or maybe he’s just making the most of his downtime while recovering from an ACL tear.

Jahan Dotson

Dotson will be one of the most exciting receivers to watch in the country this upcoming season. After a promising 2020 campaign, Dotson is poised to break out this upcoming fall.

Or will he?

The language of this tweet suggests that Dotson may be seeking a receptionist position at Staples by using its famous slogan, “That was easy,” which is cleverly woven into the caption. Dotson certainly has the skills to exceed as an elite receptionist, as he posted 884 yards on 52 catches this past season.

Pat Freiermuth

Let’s cut right to the chase here — what’s up with the capital “W” in the middle of the sentence?

We thought it was one of those fun brain teaser exercises. If the “W” is capital in the word “Work,” then the meaning must relate to capital and work in some way…

Working capital.

Working capital is an investment term that, according to Investopedia, is “the difference between a company’s current assets, such as cash, accounts receivable (customers’ unpaid bills) and inventories of raw materials and finished goods, and its current liabilities, such as accounts payable.”

So, in essence, “Baby Gronk” is telling his followers to invest in themselves. Fantastic advice! We’d invest in you, too, Pat, if we had a first-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft.

Micah Parsons

Contrary to popular opinion, this tweet has nothing to do with loving Penn State but everything to do with hating Michigan. In this particular White Out game, Michigan called a timeout without running a single offensive play to begin the game.

This clearly insinuates that Parsons wants nothing to do with the entire state of Michigan. The Detroit Lions have the seventh overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, right where many analysts are projecting Parsons may be selected. With this tweet, Parsons effectively tells the entire state of Michigan that they can forget about drafting him.

James Franklin

Every so often, James Franklin will quote tweet a graphic, photo, or text tweet from someone related in some way to the Penn State football program using the hashtag #WeAre…and that’s it.

Franklin’s feed is full of these #WeAre quote tweets, so what do they all mean?

To us, it was simple. Coaches are always finding opportunities to teach people, and, in this case, Franklin is coaching his followers about repetition. By tweeting the same thing over and over again, Franklin shows his followers the importance of repetition in life.

We appreciate the advice, coach.

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About the Author

Matt Rudisill

Matt is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism from a little town called Parkesburg in Chester County, PA. More often than not, you can catch him yelling about the Phillies and the Steelers on his Twitter (@mrudy26). Matt is also an elite wiffleball pitcher and is not afraid to back up that claim. Direct all wiffleball challenge invitations, or other legitimate requests, to [email protected].

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