Monday, February 4, 2013
Q&A with PSU 'run-on' Adam Geiger
By Josh Moyer
Adam Geiger (Camp Hill, Pa./Trinity) committed to Penn State as a walk-on athlete last week, shortly after receiving a Facebook message from assistant coach Larry Johnson.
NittanyNation recently spoke with Geiger at length about the importance of the run-on program, why he wanted to play for PSU, and the staff's future plans for him.
NittanyNation: New Hampshire and some Div. II schools seemed pretty interested in you, but you went with Penn State. Was that an easy decision?
Walk-on Adam Geiger likes the direction PSU is heading under Bill O'Brien.
Adam Geiger: Well, it wasn't too much of an easy decision, but I had a lot of time to think about it from the time Coach Johnson first mentioned it. I'm going to have to pull out some loans here, but I really thought about it and talked about it to my parents. I thought maybe I could get a scholarship somewhere else, but it's the dream of playing at Penn State, in front of a lot of loyal fans and living up to the tradition that really got me. And being on main campus and being a great college life, I thought maybe I could sacrifice a scholarship for just a great college.
I was a little skeptical at first because I was kind of needing the money, but I thought about it and weighed the options and thought it was a good opportunity. And, really, going up to that walk-on day and seeing everything -- and seeing what a normal day for a future player would be like, that really helped me buy into the system.
NN: What are you most looking forward to about heading to Penn State?
AG: Just growing up as a kid and going to Penn State wrestling matches and Penn State football games, it's just the fan base. That's one of the biggest things for me, playing for something bigger than yourself. Playing in that stadium and knowing I got a lot of people behind me supporting me. It's just the big D-I school and, I feel like if I'm given the right opportunity, I can make a huge impact.
NN: The fact that PSU has lost scholarships as part of the sanctions, did that kind of make the choice to walk-on at Penn State even more alluring for you?
AG: Yeah, it'd be different if this was a different school. But, Penn State coming off these unfortunate events and the loss of scholarships, it made me think. ... Bill O'Brien said they were going to treat these walk-ons -- he calls them run-ons -- just like he treats the scholarship athletes. So everyone will have the same opportunity, and that made me really respect the program and look forward to it.
So, he may not have the opportunity to get the best in the nation, but he's getting people who really want to be at Penn State and will give every hour of their day to better themselves and give all of their heart, and I feel like it could shock a lot of people here and the NCAA, too.
NN: I've heard from coaches, fans and analysts. But, as a run-on, what role do you think this walk-on program will play in Penn State's future success?
AG: Oh, I think it's extremely important because they need these extra guys who are coming out here. And they'll get people who really want to play for Penn State. Maybe we didn't get those big offers from other schools, but we're coming in here and we'll push ourselves extra hard to improve and prove to everybody in the nation that maybe we should've been getting those big scholarships.
NN: A lot of places have you listed as an athlete so, tell me, what position is Penn State mainly looking at you for? And what can you play?
AG: Right now, they'd really like me at running back, but they're keeping their options open. But that's the main position.
I'd play everywhere in high school. Back as a freshman, I played some strong safety and free safety -- and then, when I came over to Trinity, I played some linebacker, which I really enjoyed. But, for Penn State, I'm too little for that spot. At nose guard, I could blow through the line. I even have parts of my highlight playing as a linebacker/defensive end, just getting to the ball. But, on offense mainly, I'm on the ball either running a receiving route or running the ball.
NN: What have you been doing since your commitment? Are you thinking about running out of that tunnel a lot right now?
AG: Oh, I just went right into focus mode after I committed. I've been training extra hard and working on another level because I know I got to compete, and I want to get stronger, bigger and faster so I can go in there and be the best I can be -- and, maybe, earn myself a scholarship.