As a player in a class whom the NCAA sanctions would likely impact more than anyone else, Penn State redshirt freshman linebacker Ben Kline had a tough decision on his hands last month.
"At the beginning, like everybody else I was taken aback by the sanctions," said Kline. "There was a little bit of a panic that happened initially. Then I actually sat back and thought about it and talked to a lot of my teammates and the friends that I have on this team, we all discussed it amongst ourselves and we all realized that this is where our hearts are and where we love. We want to be there for the fans and the community and play well. I've got great relationships with some guys up here, I don't want to leave them and they don't want to leave. It's working well so far."
Now focused on preseason camp, Kline finds himself a backup to veteran linebacker Michael Mauti.
"I'm running with the twos at Will and it's going pretty well," said Kline. "I feel a lot more comfortable with the system than I did in spring. I'm just going out and trying to compete and everything and do my job and do it well."
The 6-foot-2, 224-pound Kline is in the process of picking up Ted Roof's new defensive scheme.
"I didn't really know the old scheme that well, just because I was only in it for a little bit. I spent most of last year on the scout team," he said. "I definitely like the scheme, I think it's really good for our linebackers. There's a lot of moving, doing different things and I definitely think it's going to do well for us on the field in the fall. You'll get to see all of us do the things that we're good at."
Playing behind both talent and experience at linebacker, Kline believes he'll have his biggest impact in a different area this fall.
"I just want to help the team any way I can," said Kline. "I'd love to be a special teams guy, hopefully that's the route that it goes. I want to do a good job backing up the linebackers and figuring out where the team needs me."