As Penn State looks into the future at the 2013 season, there will undoubtedly be big shoes left to fill by graduating seniors.
Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges were both stars on the Nittany Lion defense who were integral in holding the team together.
Another major part of Bill O’Brien’s success this year was the play of his graduate senior quarterback, Matt McGloin.
Whether you love him or hate him, you have to respect what McGloin was able to accomplish this year by breaking Penn State records and guiding the Lions to an 8-4 overall record.
McGloin’s path to becoming the starting quarterback in Happy Valley wasn’t exactly a normal or easy path, but he climbed to the top of the depth chart and was able to make a difference.
Here are three reasons why McGloin will be missed by both the program and fans alike.
Since the first time McGloin stepped foot in the huddle for Penn State, it became evident that the Scranton, PA native didn't like to lose.
Call it confidence or cockiness, the quarterback was always sure of himself and his team.
It’s no secret that McGloin makes his opinion loud and clear, and he makes sure that everyone around him hears it.
But this was a big part of his success as a quarterback, and he holds himself to the same standards as he holds his teammates.
He may not be as physically gifted or have the prototypical NFL body, but the fact remains that McGloin is a fierce competitor.
Penn State will miss the fiery attitude and need to succeed that McGloin brought to the team; it was a big part of their success this season.
With a scandal on their heels and a new head coach at their front door, the Penn State football program needed leaders from within to step up.
Mauti was the undisputed team leader and the glue holding the team together during its most fragile period.
But on offense, McGloin led the charge.
Both in the huddle and on the field, McGloin guided the Nittany Lion offense through a season of change and transition.
Along with being a leader to his team, McGloin was one of the top passers in the B1G and ended up breaking nine school records and tying one this year at Penn State.
He completed 270-of-446 passes for 3,266 yards, 24 touchdowns and five interceptions, and was second on the team with five touchdown runs.
The numbers speak for themselves, and what McGloin did by directing O’Brien’s offense and leading the B1G in passing will be missed.
Only a few weeks ago, McGloin was named as the winner of the Burlsworth Trophy, presented to the nation's top player who began his career as a walk-on.
This trophy was the exclamation point on McGloin’s season and career.
Out of West Scranton High School, McGloin wasn’t heavily recruited and eventually wound up going to Penn State.
He found success and failure during his first two seasons playing as the Lions' quarterback, fighting for a starting spot constantly against Rob Bolden.
From leading the Lions over Northwestern for Joe Paterno’s 400th win to throwing five interceptions against Florida in the Outback Bowl, the quarterback has shown a lot of resiliency during his four years at Penn State.
That resiliency was a big part of his success this year.
Throughout the year McGloin never seemed to lose confidence in himself or his team, and that's a key ingredient in his leadership that the Lions will miss.