Let’s take a look at some of the talent that the three captains will bring to the team this fall.
This senior linebacker hails from Mays Landing, N.J. and started 11 games last season, missing two due to an injury. At an impressive 6’1” and 233 pounds, Bell notched 11 tackles, eight of which were solo during the TaxSlayer Bowl against Georgia in January 2015. Bell also was ranked third on the team thanks to his 12.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. Off the field, Bell is pursuing a communications degree which will undoubtedly help him lead the team to a stellar season.
A graduate student from Pasadena, Md., Gaia has made his presence known as an offensive lineman by starting all 13 games in the 2015 season. He was, in fact, the only offensive lineman to start all 13 games in 2015. One of Gaia’s most notable accomplishments was protecting former quarterback Christian Hackenberg when he broke the tie with Matt McGloin for most career passing touchdowns with 48. Gaia is pursuing a degree in management.
A Pennsylvanian born and bred, Walker, a senior linebacker, is ready to lead the team to success this season. In 2015, Walker appeared in 12 games, notching two starts. During the Michigan game in October 2015, Walker made a tackle, but more importantly, blocked a second quarter punt, which was converted into Penn State’s lone touchdown of the game. It was also the first time a Nittany Lion blocked a punt since 2012. Walker is pursuing his degree in communications.
Finally, let’s take a brief look at the McSorley Era.
McSorley spent the last two years as a backup for Christian Hackenberg. He has waited patiently, with dedication and determination. This is his season to shine. Head Coach James Franklin said in a statement: “We’ve got a two quarterbacks that we’ve got a lot of confidence in, but Trace McSorley has earned the job and we’re excited about what he brings to our offense.” McSorley is a redshirt junior who stands at 6’0” and 201 pounds. He comes to us from Ashburn, Va. and appeared in seven games in 2015 as backup quarterback. McSorley is no stranger to intense games; he made his collegiate start against Rutgers in 2015, and three his first collegiate career touchdown in the TaxSlayer bowl in January 2015.