Penn State Nittany Lions: Jordan Kerner

Week in review: NittanyNation

January, 27, 2013
1/27/13
10:00
AM ET
NittanyNation takes a look at this week’s Penn State football news and what you might have missed:
  • Preferred walk-on Von Walker spoke about his goals and commitment to PSU at length in a Q&A.

Kerner fights past career-ending injury

January, 22, 2013
1/22/13
12:00
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Jordan Kerner still remembers that chilly Wednesday afternoon last month when he was asked to stop by the training room.

He passed bare trees and other students on his short walk to the Lasch Football Building, a stroll free of introspection and concern. The rising redshirt sophomore assumed he'd simply receive an update about the bulging disc in his back. Maybe his condition improved; maybe he'd be able to play soon enough. He was feeling better.

The defensive end never imagined he was minutes away from hearing those four words every athlete dreads: Your career is over.

On this early December day, he simply stepped inside the building and headed to the agreed-upon meeting place. The tan-bricked football headquarters was empty, save for a few coaches and staff, but Kerner didn't feel nervous.

Upon arriving, a staff member motioned for him to take a seat. Bill O'Brien and team doctor Wayne Sebastianelli sat aside of him. Much of the medical staff was there. Athletic trainer Tim Bream was the first to speak.

He explained, softly and slowly, that this bulging disc -- a "pop" Kerner felt while rehabbing his torn ACL last year -- was on the verge of rupturing. If he played football, anytime and anywhere, he would almost certainly be putting his future at risk. He would require surgery; future health complications would inevitably result.

"It definitely came out of the blue. To find out you're never going to be able to play again," said Kerner, pausing slightly, "It's a crazy thought."

Kerner was in shock. He came in as a high-level three-star recruit in 2011, and he thought he could have a future on the gridiron. It couldn't end now. Not like this.

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