Angelo Mangiro took his last final and walked out of the classroom, both fists raised over his head in jubilation.
“It was the greatest feeling of my life,” he said, grinning, centered in a scrum of reporters at Penn State’s Bowl Media Day on Friday afternoon. “A huge weight lifted off…Great feeling.”
I mean, people look at college football as a business. And I’m 22, but I play next to an 18-year-old kid just out of high school, and I have to go to class all week, and then go to practice, and then do homework after practice, and I think people lose sight of that.
Center Angelo Mangiro
Mangiro already got his undergraduate degree, but, inspired by his girlfriend and a discovered passion for teaching, he decided to stay for his master’s as well.
“I think (the degree aspect) is overlooked a lot,” he said. “I mean, people look at college football as a business. And I’m 22, but I play next to an 18-year-old kid just out of high school, and I have to go to class all week, and then go to practice, and then do homework after practice, and I think people lose sight of that.”
Mangiro will graduate on Saturday with his master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and wants to be an elementary school teacher. Alongside him to earn their degrees are seniors Matt Baney, Tarow Barney, Carl Nassib, Trevor Williams and Anthony Zettel.
Eight more Nittany Lions earned their undergraduate degrees, but still have eligibility left as football players and are expected to use it. they are Adam Breneman (who completed the requirements to graduate in just two years), Derek Dowrey, Malik Golden, Austin Johnson (who will decide in the next few weeks whether he’ll declare for the NFL Draft), Geno Lewis, Nyeem Wartman-Whit and Gary Wooten Jr.
Former Penn State corner Chaz Powell has been taking trips back and forth from York, Pa., one night a week over the last semester to finish his degree after he made a run at the NFL after his 2011 season.
“Really proud of the guys that we have got graduating this weekend, which is what it's all about,” said head coach James Franklin.
The team will have the day off on Saturday so that the above players can celebrate graduation with their families.