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Sukay Earns Shrine Game Defensive MVP Honors

January 22nd, 2012

Nick Sukay

It was another successful year for Penn State at the annual East-West Shrine Game. This time, we have Nick Sukay to thank.

As the sole representative of the Nittany Lions in the 87th edition of the historic game, Sukay surely gained the attention of NFL scouts with his performance in St. Petersburg.

With the score tied with just under 6 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter, the West squad had been driving up field and were poised to take the lead over the East. Sukay decided that he was going to have none of that, and picked off Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish in the endzone. Unfortunately, the East did nothing with the ball and the West scored on their subsquent possession to take a 24-17 lead, which would be the final score. The story is much more fun if you forget about that part, though!

Tackle stats were not made available since there were rules that prevented defenses from going all-out in order to avoid injury, but Sukay’s MVP award suggests that he had been contributing all game long. Coming into the game, he wasn’t considered much of an NFL prospect, but that could all change now.

While I wasn’t able to watch the game, multiple outlets have stated that Sukay was indeed playing at linebacker, which is the position he had been listed as on the initial Shrine Game roster. Granted, all the post-game reports could have been going off of that same roster that I looked at. If there’s one thing we learned on Saturday, it’s that the media isn’t always right. The way I see it, the fact that his interception was in the end zone suggests that he may have been playing in his natural position of safety. If anyone was watching and knows where Sukay was playing, feel free to send me a tweet or an e-mail.

Also worth noting is that tight end Andrew Szczerba played in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Carson, California. For some reason, they decided to start the game only two hours after the Shrine Game kicked off, so there was a decent amount of time where the two games overlapped. In the Collegiate Bowl, Szczerba recorded one, 19-yard reception. His “National” squad ending up losing the game 20-14. Other notable players in the game were LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee, Illinois running back Jason Ford, and Minnesota receiver Da’Jon McKnight.

 

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