Penn State Football Senior Week: Baublitz Will Forego Final Season to Teach at State High
Penn State football’s loss is State College High School’s gain.
After the Nittany Lions’ victory over Purdue, starting defensive tackle Kyle Baublitz told a few reporters he will forego his final year of eligibility -- meaning Saturday’s game will be his last in Beaver Stadium.
Instead, he will embark on a career of teaching high school history early, starting his career as a student teacher at State High.
“I want to inspire students,” says Baublitz, a secondary education major from York, Pa. “I was in their shoes so I know how it feels and to give them life lessons, to not give up.”
Baublitz is a senior academically, but has another year of eligibility remaining after the 2013 season because he redshirted in 2010. Last season, he earned Academic All-Big Ten honors. The 6-foot-5, 286-pounder has been a mainstay of the Penn State defense this season, earning eight starts for the 6-4 Nittany Lions. He has 17 tackles, with two for losses and a pair of sacks.
He was a team co-captain for the Purdue game, a hint that this Saturday’s game against Nebraska might be his last at home. Baublitz said he made the decision to skip a final year of football last week. It is one that he did not take lightly.
“I’ve been thinking about it, praying about it, asking people,” Baublitz said on Saturday. “I think it’s the right thing for me to do, to move on and focus on student teaching. I talked to coach (Larry) Johnson, I talked to coach (Bill) O’Brien. They gave me their input and I gave them my input.”
And O’Brien’s input was? “I think that’s between me and coach O’Brien,” Baublitz replied.
The Nittany Lions will lose their other starting defensive tackle, DaQuan Jones, to graduation after the 2013 season. In the mix at DT for 2014 are junior Tyrone Smith and three redshirt freshmen – Derek Dowrey, Brian Gaia and Austin Johnson, who’s earned a pair of starts in 2013.
SENIORS SET FOR FINAL HOME GAME
Baublitz will be introduced with a dozen other Penn State seniors prior to Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. Senior Day game against Nebraska in Beaver Stadium. In addition to Baublitz and Jones, other Nittany Lions who will be playing their final home game on Saturday are: punter Alex Butterworth, linebacker Glenn Carson, wide receiver Brandon Felder, tackle Adam Gress, center Ty Howle, linebacker/safety Stephen Obeng-Agyapong, tackle Eric Shrive, guard John Urschel, safety Malcolm Willis and fullback Pat Zerbe.
On Penn State’s most recent depth chart, eight other Nittany Lions were listed as seniors academically but juniors eligibility-wise. No announcement has been made regarding whether any or all of them will be back in 2014, although undoubtedly most will be. They are: offensive linemen Miles Dieffenbach and Garry Gilliam, defensive linemen Smith and C.J. Olaniyan, linebacker Mike Hull, running back Zach Zwinak, wide receiver Alex Kenney and safety/punt returner Jesse Della Valle.
Wide receiver Allen Robinson, who ranks No. 3 in the country with 120.4 receiving yards per game and ninth in catches per game, with 8.1, will be a senior next season, although he could potentially turn pro a year early.