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Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Q&A: Preferred walk-on Evan Galimberti

By Josh Moyer

Offensive lineman Evan Galimberti (State College, Pa./State College) grew up under the shadow of Beaver Stadium and dreamed about playing for the Nittany Lions. He realized that dream last month when Bill O'Brien extended him an offer to become a preferred walk-on.

Galimberti recently discussed his commitment with NittanyNation at length and talked about his goals, his favorite PSU moment and his strengths/weaknesses.

NittanyNation: When did that preferred walk-on invitation come about, and was it something you really jumped at or had to take some time to think about?

Evan Galimberti: It kind of became official right after the season ended, around Dec. 1. I met with [Bill] O'Brien in his office, and that's when they talked to me about having the offer to walk-on.

I had actually been accepted fairly early in the admissions process because I applied early. But I had already set up visits to Penn and Princeton, so I went to official visits there so I couldn't really commit yet. But when I came back, I thought things over and talked with my teammates who were on Penn State this year, and basically I decided I was in.

NN: How was the moment you committed? And why not go with one of those Ivy-League schools?

EG: I was home, and I had my family in the room when I called O'Brien so they could be there to share the moment. After that, I texted a couple friends and put it on Twitter. It's just really, really nice. It's been my goal to commit there for so long, so I've been really excited since then. I was a little nervous, but I was just excited to get that over with and say that I can play for Penn State. Not a lot of people have that as a dream in their lives and then have it come true.

And it's just that when I visited Penn State and talked with them, everything just seemed like it was exactly what I wanted. Later in the week, when I took an official visit to Penn and Princeton, there were a lot of things I wished were different. So I could really see myself better at Penn State.

NN: Where does PSU see you playing?

EG: They're mainly looking at me for offense. They haven't talked to me about which position, really. They said I could play all three [center, guard, tackle], so they wanted to wait until I got there and see what I could do best.

NN: What do you do best and what do you need to work on as an offensive lineman?

EG: Well, I need to really improve my weight and strength because I'm relatively small for an O-lineman, but my upside is probably footwork and general speed. I know [Mac] McWhorter told me that, at the Penn State one-day camps for O-linemen, I had the best standing long-jump -- and my agility's good. And my power clean got them interested in the beginning. I got 300 pounds, so it was decent enough to get interested.

I obviously need to work on everything, but the biggest thing is putting the mass on and being able to move people bigger than me. ... I'm 254 right now and I'm trying to get to 270-275. I basically eat two dinners a night and a sandwich every 30 minutes or so, trying to put in as many calories as I can.

NN: What are your goals for your Penn State career? Are you just happy to contribute as part of the team, or are you aiming for something more?

EG: Really, I'm just trying to work my way into the field and see what I can get. I know it'll be an uphill battle, but you can always improve -- whether you're the last guy on the practice field or the first guy on the bus.

NN: You beat out quite a few players to earn a spot on Pennsylvania's Big-33 football team, which will play Maryland over the summer. Did that take you by surprise at all?

EG: Yeah, I actually was really surprised about that. I was not expecting it at all. I thought it was awesome because I'm the first guy from State College to play in that since 2009. It wasn't really a goal or thought because I assumed I wasn't going to make it, but I got the call Saturday night and that was great news.

NN: You've grown up a Penn State fan, so let me ask you: What is your favorite Penn State moment?

EG: My favorite moment is probably the '05 Ohio State game. I don't know, it was just kind of showing that they were finally elite and just the environment. It's still the best I've ever seen. It just seemed like a lot of fans were really into it.