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Penn State Football: McSorley's Father Delivers Simple Message As Trace Faced Injury Scare

by on October 27, 2018 11:40 PM

Trace McSorley doesn't get hurt.

He just doesn't.

But Trace McSorley is also human, and as he lay at the bottom of a pile, he grabbed his right leg working it with his hands.

Trace McSorley was hurt. And Beaver Stadium was stunned.

It seemed like a moment a long time in the making. McSorley has taken countless snaps for Penn State over the past three years, running into defenders, getting blindsided, hit, twisted, and thrown into the ground. The fact he had yet to miss a snap for any meaningful injury seemed to defy the odds. Fitting too perhaps that McSorley's career started in part due to an injury to Christian Hackenberg midway through the TaxSlayer Bowl in 2015.

McSorley stood, limping, eventually rejecting help from an athletic trainer as if he refused to believe he was injured. But he was, he knew it, he could feel it.

So McSorley worked on the sideline, jogging back and forth, jumping on a bike to work his leg loose. He would feel fine and then begin to limp again. He tested it, he prodded at it. For a brief moment he returned to the game but he didn't look the same, not quite yet. He left again, Tommy Stevens running the offense as Trace looked on from a bike.

And that moment had to be scary for a player who has dodged the injury bullet for as long as he can remember. Perhaps in a way that parents do, Trace's father Rick, sensed that feeling in his son and made his way to the railing behind Penn State's bench to talk to him.

"He was just saying, I love you and letting me know that I had it, and I could do it," Trace said after the game.

"That was one of the things, hearing that from him, he has always been the person that I have leaned on, especially growing up, when things got tough he was the one I could lean on. For him to come down to say those things to me, to be that person I could lean on again, it was huge for me just to have that moment between us two."

For the most part Penn State does not allow parents to speak to the media, but Rick McSorley is an easy read even from a distance. His jaw line and intense eyes look very much the part of a man who helped raise one of the toughest football players you will ever see.

And true to form McSorley would return to the game in the second half and as fans and onlookers questioned his mobility, McSorley ran for a 51-yard touchdown completely untouched, just as fast and just as quick as ever. Never missing another snap, never looking like he had ever missed a beat. He was hurt, right?

Maybe not that bad after all.

"Tommy had just come off the field and done a great job for us so do we just stick with Tommy?" James Franklin said after the game. "But we just felt like Trace has earned the right to tell us if he thinks he can go back out on the field. I asked Trace, and said that I need the whole package, I can’t just have a pro-style quarterback sitting in the pocket now, I have to have more than that. We watched Trace run down the sideline and do a zigzag and he looked pretty good. We felt like he had earned that right."

"Trace McSorley is the best football player in college football. I do not care what anyone says because he is as tough as it gets."

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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