Player Spotlight: Carl Nassib

Player Spotlight: Carl Nassib

Rarely do walk-on hopefuls make the renowned Penn State football team. Even more rarely, however, do they become the nation’s leader in sacks. Senior defensive end Carl Nassib (West Chester, Pa.) did just that thanks to relentless work ethic and a big dream.

“Personally, I don’t think about stats very much… Any successes that I have is chalked up to my teammates and my coaches, and it’s been a privilege playing with this team,” commented Nassib this past week during the players’ press conference.

Nassib attended Malvern Prep in West Chester, Pa. where he played on the varsity team as an offensive tackle and a defensive end. However, Nassib did not play football for two years following high school due to two redshirt seasons. At times, it seemed as though his football days were done. This was not so.

Nassib had his breakout season as a sophomore in 2013. He immediately recorded 12 tackles in his first season with the team, even notching two against Ohio State. Nassib’s junior year was when he started turning heads. He appeared in all 13 games, making seven tackles with 3.5 tackles for loss, and one sack.

As many are aware, Nassib has shocked the college football world this season thanks to his impressive stats, which have boosted him to being the nation’s leader in sacks for two weeks in a row.

Nassib’s family is no stranger to college football. His older brother, Ryan, was a starting quarterback for Syracuse University and was selected in the 2013 NFL Draft. Their father played for the University of Delaware in his college days. Family is extremely important to Carl Nassib and he frequently comments about how much he discusses his highs and lows with his family, especially his mother.

Off the turf, Nassib is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and is on track to graduate with a degree in biology this coming December, completing the degree in only 3.5 years. Nassib is also described as “quirky” by Head Coach James Franklin.

“I laugh at my own jokes way too much. I think that’s a quirk. But again, I think I’m hilarious,” chided Nassib during a press conference this past week.

Nassib also has a special nickname: Crazy Carl.

“I think I’m a pretty laid-back person, but on game day I get pretty passionate and into it…first time I got called was in ninth grade,” commented Nassib.

All joking aside, Nassib is one of the hardest workers on the team. His dedication is clear in practice, on the field, and in the classroom. At the end of the day, Nassib said, he has one goal: “I want to be one of those people that can…look at myself in the mirror and think, I did everything I could be the best that I can. That’s just kind of the mentality I’ve had for a while.”

A true Nittany Lion, in every way, shape, and form.