Things are looking up for Penn State senior center Howle
By Chris Adamski
Published: Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
UNIVERSITY PARK — Ty Howle is taller than only one player on Penn State's offensive two-deep roster, and he looks up anywhere from 3 to 7 inches at teammates in position meetings for offensive linemen.
The fifth-year center, though, doesn't suffer from short-man syndrome — even if his coach refers to him as “nasty.”
“He's a funny guy,” tackle Garry Gilliam said. “He definitely keeps the offensive line together.”
Howle's switch is flipped when he walks onto the field. The son of a high school football coach, the 293-pounder — listed at 6-foot — has the look of a 22-year-old you'd like to go fishing with.
Howle grinned when he took the podium during Penn State's weekly news conference Tuesday at Beaver Stadium. He knew what he would be asked; — sure enough, the first reporter wanted to know why Nittany Lions coach Bill O'Brien said he was “a nasty guy on the football field.”
Howle chuckled. “(O'Brien) told me I probably was going to get that question,” he said.
“I think it's the way I play the game. I really love the game of football. It's something that's always been fun and been good to me. I just try to get after it every play, play hard and really enjoy it, hustling.”
Howle entered the season with the fewest career starts among Penn State's starting offensive linemen. He and Gilliam were the lone new starters (Gilliam formerly was a tight end) on a line that was a team strength last season and figured to get better in 2013.
Howle replaced two-year starter Matt Stankiewitch, who was one of the final cuts by the New England Patriots last week. After three seasons in which he was a long snapper, Howle's time has come — even as a relatively new offensive starter.
“He's one of the veterans on the line and a great leader,” Gilliam said. “He makes a lot of our calls and keeps us on the same page. He's an insanely strong person in the weight room, and his short height gives him an advantage.”
Howle grew up admiring Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday. When Howle began to be recruited by Penn State, he found another role model in A.Q. Shipley. Shipley, a Moon native, was awarded the Rimington Trophy, given annually to the best center in college football, as a senior in 2008.
Shipley, now with the Baltimore Ravens, is 6-1; Saturday, who retired after last season, is 6-2.
“Those two guys are kind of like me — shorter guys with natural leverage,” Howle said. “Two really, really good centers. Guys I kind of look up to and model my game after.”
Like O'Brien and others along the offensive line, Howle was satisfied with the play of the unit in a win against Syracuse last week. The numbers — 1.5 yards per rush, three sacks — weren't pretty.
“The stats don't tell the whole side of the running game,” Howle said. “A lot of times there were five, six, seven guys right there.”
An opportunity to build continuity exists against Eastern Michigan in the Lions' home opener at noon Saturday. Expect Howle to play, as O'Brien says he does, “tough, smart, nasty.” Even against a Mid-American Conference opponent, Howle will have to deal with defensive tackles who are taller and almost the same weight as him.
“Ty definitely knows how to get down in the trenches,” receiver Matt Zanellato said. “He knows how to hold his own with big defensive linemen and has really got a lot of grit to him.”
Chris Adamski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Minorities crucial to filling Marcellus shale gas drilling jobs
- TJ boys hang on despite foul trouble
- Web of surveillance videos helps ensnare suspect in sisters’ slayings in East Liberty
- Greensburg woman accused of assaulting nurse in Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital
- Unity woman loses appeal of DUI conviction
- Jeannette to use grant to secure Monsour
- $220K payout proposed to avoid lawsuit against Pennsylvania Game Commission
- Car only as good as its tires
- Monessen teen in court for drug charges
- 4 Donora men to stand trial for Rostraver hotel incident
- National expert tells Pittsburgh providers to expect a cost crisis in cancer care