Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Wartman-White's Return Gives Psu Defense Boost

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Wartman-White's Return Gives Psu Defense Boost

Article excerpt

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Just three days before Nyeem Wartman-White's first game in almost a year, the fifth-year senior looked a little rusty.

Not on the field - talking in front of the media.

"This is weird, I don't know where to look," the linebacker said as he stepped in front of a crowd of reporters Wednesday. The team's communications staff directed him to look straight ahead and reminded him this wasn't the first time he'd been put in the middle of a scrum of reporters - in fact, he'd just done so back in July at Big Ten media days.

"So do I control this or do you guys control this? Like, do I go like, 'next question?'" Wartman-White asked the journalists. "No, serious. I'm dead serious."

It's not a surprise the senior took a few questions before he amiably chatted about who was the worst freestyle rapper on the team - he put himself up for that one - and why he loves his Crocs - they used to belong to his roommate, former Nittany Lions' safety Jordan Lucas. After hurting his knee early in the second quarter of 2015's season opener at Temple, Wartman-White spent the offseason having surgery and recovering. He will be back for his first game action since Sept. 5, 2015, at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Beaver Stadium against Kent State.

Initially, Wartman-White said he wasn't thinking about savoring the moment of what could be his last first game of the collegiate season - unless he were to petition for a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA, which he said wasn't on his radar. But then a reporter reminded him the most recent time he played a real game at Beaver Stadium was Nov. 29, 2014.

"Wow, it is a long time ago," Wartman-White said. "Now, when I go out there and go for my first game, I might be a little emotional. . That's a long time."

Wartman-White didn't remember much about that Michigan State game where Penn State lost 34-10, besides that he played the Sam, or strong side, linebacker position and did pretty well - he made three solo tackles and five assists with one for a loss. …

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