Column: Carson Continues Legacy of “Linebacker U”
The calling card of linebackers has always been physicality and toughness. There is a reason that the office enforcer in the famous Terry Tate commercials is referred to as the “office linebacker,” after all. If one had to choose an “office linebacker” of the 2013 Nittany Lion squad, the choice would be easy. When it comes to toughness and physicality, no player better embodies what a linebacker should be than Glenn Carson.
The defensive signal caller's best attribute is his durability. A middle linebacker in football may take more of a beating than any other position in sports. It's a given that there will be some nicks and bruises in the course of a full season. Most linebackers miss some games along the way, but Glenn Carson isn't like most linebackers. When he suits up Saturday against Kent State, it will mark the 41st game in a row that Carson will have participated in. To put that in perspective, the last Nittany Lion game that Carson didn't play in, the top comedy in theaters was The Hangover, part one!
The question was posed by one of our ComRadio staff members whether or not Penn State is still “Linebacker U.” While most of the members of the radio station agreed it is because of the history of the program, the fact that there is even a question is worrisome. Obviously, Penn State's dismal defensive performance against UCF last week doesn't help the case.
Even the most passionate Penn State fan would admit that replacing linebacker studs Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges wasn't going to be an easy task for this year's squad. If there was one player who could do it, however, it would have to be Carson.
In 2012, Carson didn't just show flashes of brilliance, but a neon sign screaming, “Fear ME!” As a redshirt junior, he was third in the team in tackles behind Mauti and Hodges, recording just nine less solo wrap-ups then Mauti, who now plays on Sundays for the Minnesota Vikings.
If you think obtaining your degree was/is difficult, try completing two of them. That's exactly what Carson will soon accomplish. Having already earned a bachelors degree in Advertising/Public relations, the linebacker will soon have two diplomas to hang up on his mantle. The two time All-Academic Big Ten winner is currently in the process of completing his Labor and Employment Relations degree. Add in an internship with the State College Spikes and his football duties (he never misses a start, remember) and Carson is a very busy man.
And he will certainly be busy on the field Saturday as he and his fellow Nittany Lions take on the Kent State Golden Flashes at 3:30 p.m. in Beaver Stadium. ComRadio will have live coverage the entire afternoon beginning at 12:30.