Every week, NittanyNation will pose five questions to a recruit, player, alum or coach about all things Penn State.
This week's subject is Chris Gulla, a kicker out of Toms River (N.J.) North who decided to accept an invitation to become a preferred walk-on at Penn State. He chose Penn State over Maryland, Rutgers and South Carolina.
He can also punt, but Penn State is currently focusing on his field-goal kicking.
NittanyNation: Was it an easy decision for you to walk-on to PSU, or was it something you were struggling with for awhile?
Chris Gulla: It wasn't much of a difficult decision for me; that's where I always wanted to play. I got accepted into the business school and I have a great chance at playing time, which is awesome.
Most of my family is actually from the Lehigh Valley, and they're huge Penn State fans, so I've pretty much been raised a Penn State fan. They offered me the preferred walk-on a long time ago. I kicked for them over the summer and that's when they offered me. I just wanted to keep all my options open [in case of a scholarship]. I couldn't be happier with my decision.
NN: What do you like most about Penn State?
CG: It's a combination. Playing at Beaver Stadium is an incredible experience, and so's having a great education with a great networking system. That's hard to pass up.
Walking out of the tunnel, you can't even really picture it until you actually do it. It's going to be really great for the next four years running out on that field.
NN: What are your goals for your first season?
CG: I'm definitely going in there with the mindset of winning the starting job this year as kicker and punter. I'm actually going to camp July 1 to start taking snaps, and it'll be an open competition from there to the start of the season, and I want that spot. It's just me against whoever else is there.
NN: How surprised were you by Penn State's success this season and the turnaround that Sam Ficken made?
CG: I watched every game I could, and I wasn't really surprised at all. A lot of people were freaking out about everything, but when you actually go there and visit, you knew they were going to get through the problems. I always thought they were going to be successful.
And with [Ficken], it's definitely great to see all the support he got. I'm just really excited right now.
NN: You've received a lot of congratulations, I'm sure, from friends, family and strangers. What's that been like, and what was the most memorable congrats you received?
CG: Oh yeah, the Penn State fans have been great. I've gotten a ton of Twitter followers from all the Penn State fans, and former Penn State kicker Collin Wagner reached out to me and congratulated me and asked me if I had any questions to let him know. And my head coach [Chip LaBarca] actually played at Penn State, so he's really excited.
Definitely having [Wagner] reach out just showed it's a family when you play Penn State football. It's something that lasts a lifetime.