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Staff Picks: College GameDay’s 2021 Guest Picker

The energy is in the air, folks! College GameDay is coming back to Happy Valley for the fifth year in a row ahead of No. 10 Penn State football’s matchup with No. 22 Auburn.

Each year, one lucky star with a relationship to that week’s school joins the GameDay crew to make some game picks. In 2017, Ki-Jana Carter returned to State College to make the picks when the show returned to Penn State for the first time since 2009. Keegan Michael-Key was the follow-up in 2018, and Lara Spencer in 2019. Trace McSorley was featured on the show’s fan-less episode in 2020.

Who will be the lucky star to make an appearance on College GameDay? Our staffers shared their thoughts on who would be a great celebrity picker.

Frankie Marzano: Michael Mauti

This one seems like a no-brainer for ESPN. On the weekend that “Saving the Roar” premieres in State College, there would be no better pick. It’s hard to say, but there is a good chance that Penn State football wouldn’t be in the spot it is in today without the likes of Mauti or co-captain Michael Zordich staying at Penn State in the wake of the Sandusky scandal. With the energy already high heading into the weekend, Mauti would stir up even more energy in State College heading into the game on Saturday.

Alex Petersen: Saquon Barkley

Few football players loved their time at college more than Saquon Barkley. His attitude and skill set made him a fan favorite. This week, Barkley and the New York Giants face off against the Washington Football Team on Thursday Night Football, meaning he would be well-removed from his next football game. We can only hope this makes a visit from Saquon this weekend all the more likely.

Ryen Gailey: Jada Barkley

Even though she’s only 3 years old, if Jada has half the sports knowledge and talent as her dad Saquon, she’ll surely make an obviously educated and unbiased pick and choose Penn State. Besides, she literally could not be any cuter, and the GameDay crowd would go just as crazy for her as they would for her dad.

Devon Craley: Trace McSorley…Again

In the last couple of White Outs in Happy Valley, ESPN has gone the celebrity/pop culture route when it comes to who its guest picker is (Lara Spencer, Keegan-Michael Key, etc.). I wouldn’t be shocked if this time is a little different and a former football player is selected. Outside of Saquon Barkley, there is no Penn State player more beloved in the last five years than Trace McSorley. 

McSorley holds just about every Nittany Lion passing record and has built a relationship with the fanbase and the university that will last forever.  Of course, the big thing when it comes to picking a guest picker is whether or not the person is available to be on the show. As of right now, Trace McSorley is on the practice squad for the Baltimore Ravens, meaning he does not travel with the team nor dress on game days. The popular pick is probably Barkley, but it would be awesome to see McSorley on Old Main Lawn Saturday.

Matt DiSanto: Sue Paterno

I can’t think of a more iconic Penn Stater than Sue Paterno. Penn State’s sweetheart would make for an incredible appearance on the show thanks to her always-present charisma and charm. Just look at her appearance at THON 2021 last winter.

Plus, after spending decades beside Joe Paterno, Sue knows ball. Get her up on the stage, folks.

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