Every week, NittanyNation will pose five questions to a recruit, player, alum or coach about all things Penn State.
This week's subject is Graham Zug, a PSU wideout from 2006-2010 who caught 46 passes as a redshirt junior. He decided to walk-on to Penn State in 2006 and earned a scholarship two years later.
Zug is currently an assistant coach at Palmyra (Pa.) High School and works full-time as a sales marketing manager at The Scotts Miracle Gro. He's currently engaged and will marry next June.
NittanyNation: Your name popped up over the weekend when Allen Robinson matched your three-touchdown performance from 2009. What have you seen from Robinson so far, and what kind of memories do you have from your 3-TD game?
Graham Zug: I think he's a great receiver. He's done some wonderful things, and everybody has to remember he's still young. So, hopefully he continues to work hard and continues to improve and be one of the nation's top receivers. I think he could definitely do that, and I think he already is -- as young as he is.
And I mean, yeah, it was cool to do that. But, ultimately, it was better knowing we left with a win on the road at Michigan. I always loved playing away games and making plays because it was cool to hear the crowd become silent and hear the little Penn State section cheering. It was cool it happened at Michigan and that we got the win afterward.
NN: What's your take on the new head coach, Bill O'Brien?
GZ: I've seen what he's done in the NFL. And it's always good having a professional guy come in as coach because it's going to help get kids recruited. And I think the way he's carried himself through these tough times is pretty amazing. He's definitely a Penn Stater, and I'm glad to have him on board.
NN: What are you most proud of about your time at Penn State?
GZ: The fact I took a chance. I could've taken a scholarship to a lower-level school, but I decided to take a big risk to walk-on at Penn State, one of the top schools in the nation. And I walked on and not only did I earn the respect of my teammates, that's how I earned the scholarship -- having them go to our coaches and say I deserved one. I think that's what stands out to me the most: I worked my tail off.
I can remember a bunch of them in the locker room would always yell at Coach [Mike] McQueary and Joe [Paterno] and others that I needed to be on scholarship. One guy was Lydell Sargeant, he'd do it all the time. It was basically because, on the scout team when I redshirted, I was making plays and scoring touchdowns. And when you're able to do stuff like that against the first-string defense, you're taking those defensive players and coaches and showing your capabilities. So when you're able to beat them, they're going to notice it. That's how I earned my scholarship.
NN: How do you feel about names on the back of the jerseys?
GZ: Being a Penn Stater, I never liked the jerseys with the names, so I'm not big on it. I know why Coach O'Brien's doing it but, you know, I've always been a big fan of not having names on jerseys. It's about a team, not an individual. When I look at the uniforms, I think it looks kind of goofy; it doesn't look right.
And I think maybe that's because I'm such a big Penn Stater. But they made a decision to go with it. I don't know if they'll stick with it forever, but I like the jerseys better without them.
NN: Do you still follow the football team a lot?
GZ: Oh yeah. My fiance and I have two tickets. We go to every game. Sometimes I leave her and go down on the field to watch with some of my teammates. She doesn't mind; she went to Penn State as well, so she loves the game and she's up there with the lettermen and the other wives. I try not to do it too often, but she knows football. She loves watching football.
I've been to every home game except -- well, actually, the Navy one. My fiance's cousin got married so that was the last one I missed. Before that, I couldn't even tell you. It's been a while -- probably before I played.