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10 Questions With The ‘Random Penn State Athletes’ Twitter Account

Penn State Twitter is a rabbit hole. With numerous personalities and sports accounts, there’s an endless amount of Penn State content on the platform.

In recent months, @PennRandom gained traction for posting random Penn State athletes daily. The account goes by “Random Penn State Athletes,” which is truly quite fitting.

We reached out to the account’s owner to find out more about who they are and what their inspiration for starting the account was.

Onward State: Who are you outside of the account, and what do you do?

Random Penn State Athletes: Up until now, I have kept my identity a secret. It was partly because it was fun for me. The other part was because I thought there could be some criticism because of my age. For the players I post, I am very young. I am becoming somewhat prominent on the Penn State football scene on my main account. Part of the reason I agreed to do this was to grow my main account. With that being said, my at is @ColinPat3. I am a freshman at Penn State. I am a journalist for Basic Blues Nation (@BasicBlues). I am a journalism major and love what I do.

OS: How did you get interested in Penn State sports?

RPSA: The thing that got me into Penn State sports was my parents. My mom and dad met at Penn State and brainwashed me into being a Penn State fan. Even though I am from New Jersey, I bleed blue and white. I have watched Penn State sports my whole life.

OS: What made you start the account?

RPSA: The reason I started the account was because I saw the account Random College Athletes (@RandomAthletess) and thought it would be cool to make a Penn State version. I thought it was cool to post players from the past. One of the biggest misconceptions is the idea of a player being “random”. Random doesn’t mean you haven’t heard of them — it means you don’t know who I am going to post.

OS: How do you select players to feature? Many are very random, but other times you feature Sean Clifford after the Rose Bowl or Jalen Pickett after the NCAA Tournament.

RPSA: It is hard to say who I am going to post. I try to do a lot from memory. At this point, I have posted so many that I have to search to make sure I haven’t done someone before. Sometimes, I have someone in mind when they end their career or have a big game. Hence the reason why you see Pickett or Clifford. A lot of times my dad gives me someone. If it is someone more recent, I randomly think of a sport and google it and pick someone from the roster at random. It can be hard to find pictures sometimes. I honestly don’t have a process and just try to mix it up.

OS: On that same note, how do you track down the players that you’d like to feature, and how do you find that they existed in the first place?

RPSA: I do not have a process for tracking players (I should). Penn State has rosters going back to 2007 on its website. That is why most athletes are from 2007 and on. Some are people I have heard of before. Others are recommended to me by my dad or taken as suggestions (please, please, please give me suggestions!). As I said, I have to search my Twitter to remember that I did them.

OS: How did the account gain some traction? You’ve got about 1,500 followers right now, so how long did that take?

RPSA: I created the account in April 2021. It has taken up until now to get that following. Penn State Twitter is crazy, and it makes the account blow up. Gaining traction honestly just came by following others and knowing they would follow back. The coolest thing for me is when the player likes a post of themselves or a coach likes it.

OS: Where do you want the account to go in the future?

RPSA: I honestly don’t have any future plans. I just want to continue to grow the account. I need more suggestions because I am running out of people to do. It is more fun for me to see the engagement, too. I always shout out who gave me a suggestion. I will continue to do so. I am just going to try to post every day.

OS: Has anyone that you’ve featured reached out, and if so, what has that been like?

RPSA: People have not DM’d me but have liked or retweeted my posts. Plenty of people have liked their post. It was really cool for me the first time that happened. I was awe-struck when someone like Geno Lewis was liking my post. I have Penn State coaches that follow me like Ja’Juan Seider. He has retweeted some of my RBs. It is a really cool feeling to see the engagement with the actual players and coaches themselves. Recently, Shane Conlan quote tweeted my post about Camren Wynter and said “Great kid.” Wynter responded with “the GOAT.” I think that is really cool.

OS: Do you have a favorite Penn State player of all time?

RPSA: Since I am young, I am going to be biased. My favorite player is Trace McSorley. I grew up with him being my Penn State QB. He won a Big Ten Championship. He is the GOAT, in my opinion.

OS: As per Onward State tradition, if you were a dinosaur, which one would you be and why?

RPSA: I would be a raptor. Jurassic World has skewed me here. Blue is super cool. They are annoying little things that can hurt you a lot.

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About the Author

Joe Lister

Joe is a junior journalism major at Penn State and an associate editor at Onward State. He covers Penn State football and enjoys yelling on Twitter about Philadelphia/Penn State sports. He also listens to Mac Miller more than you. If you want to find him, Joe's usually watching soccer with his shirt off or at the gym with his shirt on. Please send all positive affirmations and/or hate mail toward him on Twitter (iamjoelister) or via email ([email protected]).

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