- Josh Moyer, ESPN Staff Writer
Every week, NittanyNation will pose five questions to a recruit, player, alum or coach about all things Penn State.
This week's subject is Brendan Mahon, a four-star offensive guard out of Randolph (N.J.) who committed to Penn State last March. He's ranked No. 215 in the ESPN 300, and he'll be on campus in June.
NittanyNation: Have you gotten your workout routine from Penn State yet? And what are some different things they have you doing?
Brendan Mahon: Yeah, I did get my workout -- and I've been doing the agility side of things. I've also taken up boxing to improve my footwork and handwork.
My dad talked about boxing, and Coach [John] Strollo did, as well. He's never sent any of his guys there to box, but he's always supported them. It's getting me in great shape right now. With your handwork and footspeed, that's obviously pretty important to an offensive lineman.
NN: You've met strength coach Craig Fitzgerald before. What do you think it's going to be like training with him and also OL coach Mac McWhorter?
BM: I'm really excited to be able to work with Fitz. I love his style and intensity in the weight room. You don't want someone who's boring; you want someone who's going to get you pumped. If you have someone who'll motivate you to do 2-3 more reps, that'll add up, and that's exactly what you need. He'll get you stronger. And, with all the new equipment, I'm excited to get in the weight room.
And, with Coach Mac, the man has national championships under his belt. And he's coached everywhere across the country and has the experience, and I'm really excited to learn from him. He has a perfect mix for old and new styles.
NN: What are you most looking forward to at Penn State, and what are you going to miss most from high school?
BM: I'm just going to miss playing with some of my buddies that I grew up with, but I'm definitely excited to get up there and start a new chapter in my life and play the best I can. I'm just ready for something different. In high school, I was in the Army All-American game and everything, and I want to challenge myself. I want to start a new career up there, start a new chapter, see where it takes me and give 100 percent every day.
NN: It seems like you and Garrett Sickels are pretty close, but really, this class as a whole seems pretty tight-knit. Is that fair to say -- and why do you think that is?
BM: Yeah, we're real close. Me and Christian [Hackenberg] are also extremely close -- and Adam [Breneman], too. I just think once the sanctions hit, we all kind of bundled together and said that a group's stronger than just one. So whenever we were questioning our commitment, we turned toward each other. I'd say I'm just as tight, if not tighter, with those guys up there than my teammates in high school.
NN: Your commitment was obviously stronger than those sanctions. But why? Why pick Penn State over all those other schools?
BM: You know, I fell in love with Penn State not for the bowl games -- but for the people, the community and the family behind the football team. Playing beside my brothers was a big thing for me. I had a lot of teams after me that won national championships, but I committed to Penn State for something more than that -- because of the high standards they hold for their academics and the family atmosphere.
16hBrian Bennett and Josh Moyer