Former Penn State offensive lineman and New Jersey native Angelo Mangiro — a 25-game starter from 2011 to 2015 — discussed Rutgers fans, gummy bears and “Game of Thrones” in our latest edition of “Five Questions.”
Check out the latest Q&A below. It was a doozy:
Q: What would you say your favorite game was in your Penn State career? As a Jersey guy and Yankees fan, I’m sure the Pinstripe Bowl win sticks out quite a bit.
A: That one was the first one that came across my mind. Kicking the crap out of Rutgers my senior year at home 28-3 — that was a great one, too. Being from Jersey, the fashion in which we won, rushing for so many yards, seeing the emergence of Saquon (Barkley) in kind of his breakout game, and even Akeel (Lynch) did well. I think both rushed for over 100 yards. But the Pinstripe Bowl, to end the season on a high note and being a Yankee fan growing up, that was just a great week. Sitting in the Yankees locker room, the aura of Yankee Stadium, playing in an arena like that, it was amazing.
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Q: I’m sure you’re a big Derek Jeter guy. How jealous were you to see that Sam Ficken got Jeter’s locker and you didn’t?
A: It’s cool, man, I was happy for him (laughs). I was two lockers down. I was in Alfonso Soriano’s locker. He was on the Yankees for a second term there. But I actually got to try on every single one of Derek Jeter’s five World Series rings on my hand. ... They had some out for the whole team, but Coach (James) Franklin asked me to do the pregame media coverage. I think they took out some more rings when it was fewer people, just us and the Boston College guys. I tried on all five — and then, of course, what a great game. They way we won, that’s one that’ll stand out to me for a lifetime.
Q: You mentioned kicking the crap out of Rutgers your senior year. What were the emotions like before, during and after the game?
A: Them joining the Big Ten the year before, it was a very hostile area. Rutgers fans brought it there my junior year. But the way they conducted themselves as a total fan base was with no class. The stuff that was being said to my parents and other players’ parents who were just minding their own business tailgating. The type of messages I was receiving on Twitter and Facebook. It was just, you know, that’s not how things are done. I love college football and the atmosphere and passion that comes along with it, but don’t confuse passion for negligence or being an ass. So having them come up to our place to see Beaver Stadium rocking the way it was with the Stripe (Out) Game, we were able to dominate that game. That was the best game I was able to play in my college career. It was awesome. I have respect for Coach (Kyle)I Flood and his staff. ... But the way the university handled that whole game my junior year was just not cool.
Q: Let’s finish with a couple fun questions. Scanning your Twitter a bit, in your bio it says you’re addicted to Haribo gummy bears. Care to explain?
A: Oh 100 percent. I’m a little upset that Trace’s mom is bringing all these snacks to the offensive line guys now. The snacks weren’t there when I was there (laughs). But I actually went to the Rutgers game this past year, and I told the guys I’d see them at the hotel Friday night prior to the game. She actually brought me some gummy bears. Mrs. McSorley is an awesome lady. I’ve always enjoyed them. My uncle grew up in Lancaster as a Penn State fan, and in my four-and-a-half years, I think he only missed two homes games. He would stop every road trip up and get me a bag of gummy bears for after the game. It fed my addiction. You can ask Carl Nassib, my roommate, I’d do at least two bags a week. Probably wasn’t the healthiest thing. But when you’re working out that much, it’s all good.
Q: There’s also quite a bit of Game of Thrones stuff on your Twitter. You a Hodor fan? And who would you say is your favorite character?
A: I am, I am. Hodor was a big character in the series. The new trailer just came out (for the upcoming season). I’m super pumped for it. I’m a little bit of a nerd when it comes to those things. My junior year I was honorable mention All-Big Ten, it was my first season starting, and I graduated that year, too. So my dad wanted to get me a gift for graduation and everything. I told him I wanted Jon Snow’s Longclaw Sword. He got it for me, and it was like $250. I have that hanging up in my house now. ... And man, who’s my favorite character? Jon’s great, but low-key Arya is probably the most savage of them all.