Rutgers' Pennsylvania players react to Big Ten opener against Penn State
Rutgers' Pennsylvania-born football players explain in their own words what Saturday's Penn State matchup means to them:
Right tackle Taj Alexander: "We have a lot of other schools around us that a lot of kids grew up watching or knew about. It wasn’t just Penn State, Penn State, Penn State. We had Philadelphia schools, Villanova, Temple, Penn. But there was always Penn State. When I was getting recruited and when I was coming out of high school, a lot my best friends were going to Penn State. They were like, ‘You should come to Penn State. Penn State, Penn State Penn State.'"
Tight end Nick Arcidiacono: "(The presence is) not as strong as Central Pa., but there are still a lot of Penn State fans. My brother (Mark) played for Penn State. My whole family, all of my cousins have been Penn State fans growing up. A lot of my cousins went to Penn State, a lot of them still go, two of my brothers (Mark and Gavin). The Penn State game is a big deal. It’s going to be huge.”
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Tight end Tyler Kroft: “Growing up in Pennsylvania, Penn State’s always kind of been the school. Obviously it’s going to be great. A lot of kids from my high school go to Penn State, so they’re all sending me messages about coming to the game and they’re so excited to see it. Obviously there’s going to be a lot of hype around it because we share a border. The big thing everyone likes to talk about is the recruitingbattles. Getting in there in our first year and being able to get the job done will do wonders for that.”
Linebacker Kevin Snyder: “My parents don’t like Penn State. My mom did when she was young. My dad’s from Ohio so he’s more of an Ohio (State) guy.”
Right guard Chris Muller: “With Pennsylvania being such a large state, I didn’t choose Rutgers in spite of anything. I chose Rutgers because it was my favorite school. People are going to cheer for their favorite school despite what state they’re from. I really feel that doesn’t have anything to do with it.”