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Friday, February 1, 2013
5 Questions: Run-on OT Austin Fiedler

By Josh Moyer

Every week, NittanyNation will pose five questions to a recruit, player, alum or coach about all things Penn State.

This week's subject is Austin Fiedler, an offensive tackle out of Turbotville (Pa.) Warrior Run who recently committed to PSU as a walk-on. He's a 6-foot-6, 296-pound prospect and received heavy interest from Bloomsburg.

NittanyNation: What's the one thing you're most looking forward to about heading to Penn State?

Austin Fielder: Probably, right now, I can't wait to start working with [Craig] Fitzgerald and just getting the ball rolling. He knows what he's doing, and it's just going to get me ready to practice almost. So I have a lot of stuff to work on, but I love being in the weight room. That's like my biggest thing, probably -- weightlifting.

When I went out to visit, pretty much every time, I'd find him there just to say hi. He just has high energy, and he's really pumped and ready to go, no matter what the weather or is what people are there. ... Also, I'm looking forward to seeing the whole offense, being able to see what they do play-wise. I can't wait to open that playbook.

NN: What were your goals for your recruitment, and what would you like to accomplish at PSU?

AF: Well, my first goal was to get on this team. And now that I'm on it, it's still blowing my mind that I'm actually going there. But I'm always telling myself to never be satisfied, so now my next goal -- and it's a pretty big goal -- is to start a game at that field. I'll do everything it takes to get there.

NN: What was the most meaningful congratulations you received after your commitment?

AF: Honestly, the biggest congratulations was probably Coach Mac (Mac McWhorter) when he was like, 'Welcome to the family.' That'll stick with me the rest of my life. He was just like, 'That's awesome, Austin. Welcome to the family!'

It's been a week since I committed. But, I don't know, I'm still, like, numb. It's taking a while to sink in. I'm pretty much still in a state of shock. It's probably the biggest thing to happen in my life.

NN: What most surprised you about the way Penn State recruited you?

AF: Well, I felt it was pretty cool when I went out to the first camp out there, like a three-day summer camp, and let them know I was interested and what my dream was. And they responded. They ended up starting to come after me then, making sure I stayed interested. I got a letter or two almost every week -- and a couple personal letters, too. Just getting that letter with 'Penn State' on it, it felt pretty good.

At that camp, I told them at the second-to-last practice or something, I told Coach Mac that I didn't want to do anything else but go to Penn State and be on the football team. That's my dream and, right off the bat, he said they couldn't offer anything right away and that kind of wore on me a little bit. But I still wanted to go, so I was working toward that. I told him, even if I get money from someone else, it'd still be hard to take that, because this is what I've been pushing myself for. I'd be in the weight room, telling myself if you want to go to Penn State, then you need to do this one last rep or run this sprint faster. It was motivation. So, I let Coach Mac know -- and he stayed interested the whole time.

NN: Tell me, what expectations do you have for this run-on program, and what role do you think it'll be play in PSU's future success?

AF: Well, from what I've seen of the next three years here when they don't have the scholarships, they're going to really have to make sure they give them to positions they need. But I think the run-on program is really going to help them. I like what what they're doing, because they're really starting to pick that walk-on program up and put more work into it.

They're going to be getting a lot more kids who are almost more dedicated, because they're coming to be a run-on because, usually, they have that dream. It's not like, 'Oh, I'll give it a shot.' It's that you're going to be paying for college and you're going to prove yourself. It's almost like a bigger step than a kid who has a scholarship. You have to keep your grades up, because it's not free. You're taking a loan for this, and you're going to have to make it work; it gives you more motivation, because it's not being handed to you.