For a Penn State team that just lost two starting defensive ends to graduation, the return of Pete Massaro is a welcome sight. Injuries are nothing new for the rising senior defensive end–he’ll be playing next season having torn each ACL once. The right knee cost him the 2009 season, the left one the 2011 campaign. But in between, he showed glimpses of becoming a standout edge rusher in the mold of another #59, Aaron Maybin.
Finding playing time in Larry Johnson’s deep rotation, Massaro racked up 37 tackles, 8 TFL, and 3.5 sacks–and all that while excelling in the classroom to the point of being named an Academic All-American. There will once again be a plethora of defensive ends vying for playing time, but Massaro’s experience and senior leadership may be as much of a boon to this defense as his pass-rushing ability.