Player Spotlight: Koa Farmer
Every football team wants a player who is bright, hard-working and talented. Koa Farmer is all that and more for Penn State.
The senior linebacker has made his presence known on the field this year, filling a serious need at the position. He has had an impressive season so far and shows no signs of slowing down.
The California native has football in his blood with his father playing at Hawaii and Cal State Northridge, where he set a then-NCAA freshman record with 18 rushing touchdowns. Farmer did it all in high school as a three-year letterman playing wide receiver, running back, quarterback and safety. He earned multiple awards for football while lettering in basketball and track as well.
Farmer redshirted his freshman year but started his playing career with a bang leading the team with 128 all-purpose yards against Temple. He spent most of his time on special teams that year as a kick returner, averaging 22.5 yards per return.
His defensive career at Penn State kicked off in a game against Kent State logging a combined tackle with Jason Cabinda. The rest of the season he logged his first start, sack and forced fumble moving from safety to linebacker and solidifying his prominence on this team.
The now starting linebacker is a focal point of the Lions' defense and special teams. Last season he returned two kickoffs for 70 yards while recording total tackles. So far this year, he has 24 tackles in six games, including a career high eight-tackle game against Ohio State.
What is most impressive about Farmer is his work ethic. He was not the highest rated recruit, but he worked his tail off to get here. He didn’t have a starting spot when he got to Penn State, but every time he stepped on the field he let his coaches and everyone know that he had what it takes to be a starter.
The 2017 Jim O’Hora award winner has a great work ethic on and off the field. This award is presented to defensive players who show “exemplary conduct, loyalty, interest, attitude and improvement”, and Farmer shows that with everything he does.
As an undergraduate student, he was a double major earning a criminology and sociology degree. He now is pursuing a journalism degree and hopes to start a career as a pathologist in his life after football.
Farmer is just getting started. With the season at the halfway point, his stats look great and his presence on the field is known by not only his players and coaches, but that of opposing teams as well. With Penn State in desperate need of a win, they are searching for a defensive spark. Look for Farmer to step up in that role and bring pride to the name “LinebackerU.”
Noah Chast is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.