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Friday, February 22, 2013
Meet the run-ons: OG Tom Devenney

By Josh Moyer

Every weekday, as part of an ongoing series, NittanyNation will take a closer look at a Penn State walk-on.

Vitals: Offensive guard Tom Devenney, Lititz (Pa.) Warwick, 6-foot-2, 285 pounds.

Picked Penn State over: Heavy interest from the Ivy League and Patriot League. (He had an early scholarship offer from Colgate, but four other linemen took offers so the Ivy League school no longer had room for him. He was in talks with other schools but picked PSU.)

Why he picked PSU: He really tried to take football out of the equation, which is why he was heavily interested in the academics of the Ivy League. He likes the campus life here and, since he wants to be an engineer, he felt like PSU's academics would really help. Also, it didn't hurt that he grew up a PSU fan living in central Pennsylvania.

State of the position: Penn State will need some help along the interior in future years, but depth isn't an issue in 2013. Some combination of John Urschel, Miles Dieffenbach, Ty Howle and Angelo Mangiro will be starting at center and the guard positions -- with the odd man out still seeing plenty of time on the field. There's also at least five other scholarship players, including incoming freshmen Brendan Mahon and Tanner Hartman, who could push for time.

Strengths: With his wrestling background, he takes a lot of pride in his hips and he's able to stay low. He squats 475 pounds, so he's a great run-blocker. Larry Johnson initially wanted him on defense, too, and PSU feels like he could play any position along the offensive line. He's versatile.

Weaknesses: He needs to work on his hand placement and striking ability. He said, because of that, he knows he has to improve his pass blocking.

Potential impact: Devenney has a lot going for him, but the interior isn't in immediate need of another body. If Devenney can improve on some fundamentals like hand placement, he could see some time down the line. For now, though, he'll be a scout-team player.

Quotables: "It was really a dream come true for me. It didn't matter to me about not having a scholarship because it wasn't like I was turning a scholarship down. I just want the opportunity to go in and battle. I just want to play football. So if I'm on the practice squad for four years, I'm on the practice squad. But I'm still doing what I love."

Getting to know Devenney: Favorite movie is "Office Space" ("I love 90s comedies.") ... Favorite TV shows are "Breaking Bad" and "Walking Dead" ... Favorite food is his mom's chili ... Favorite musician is Kid Cudi ... Dream vacation spot is Whitefish, Mont. ("We were there before, and it was just great. I love the outdoors and the out-west experience.")