Larry Fitzgerald Nearly Played Linebacker At Penn State

By all accounts, former Pitt Panthers wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald remains one of the best players in school history. Appearing in 26 games, he caught 161 passes for 2,677 yards and 34 touchdowns, a program record. As a sophomore, he was also a recipient of the Walter Camp player of the year award and the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top wide receiver.

↵

After all that, Fitzgerald, believe it or not, was nearly a linebacker at Penn State, playing for, yes, Joe Paterno. Per AZCentral.com:

↵
↵

More than 10 years ago, this attitude led to a life-changing decision. He said no to Joe Paterno, who wanted Fitzgerald to play linebacker, to be part of a great Penn State tradition.

↵

"I played linebacker all the way up to my senior year in high school," Fitzgerald said. "I was heavily recruited as a defensive player. I had about 25 to 30 offers coming out, and probably 70 percent of them were defensive offers. I grew up watching Penn State, and was really enamored by the defense at Linebacker U."

↵
↵

So who should you thank for persuading Fitzgerald to sign with Pitt? Walt Harris.

↵

(h/t @MattRHinton)

↵

For more on the Pitt Panthers, check out Cardiac Hill, SB Nation's Pittsburgh blog.

↵

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SB Nation Pittsburgh

You must be a member of SB Nation Pittsburgh to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Pittsburgh. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Pittsburgh

You must be a member of SB Nation Pittsburgh to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Pittsburgh. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.