8/18/2010
Wisniewski gives Penn State stability
Associated Press

STATE COLLEGE - On an offensive line riddled with question marks, right guard Stefen Wisniewski provides an emphatic exclamation point at Penn State.

Even though the 6-foot-3, 298-pound senior has shifted from the center position, where he earned first-team All-Big Ten honors a year ago, Wisniewski feels at home. He took second-team conference honors at guard his sophomore year.

"I like guard, but like what happened last year, the team needed me at center, so I moved to center," he said. "I'm kind of happy to do whatever the team needs."

That willingness to put team first, and the talent to pull off the switch seamlessly, stems directly from his family background, said offensive line coach Dick Anderson.

Stefen's father, Leo Wisniewski, earned three letters on the defensive line for the Nittany Lions from 1979-81 and played four years in the NFL for the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts. Stefen's uncle, Steve Wisniewski was a two-time, first-team All-America guard for Penn State and was named an All-Pro eight times during his 13 years in the NFL.

"It starts with his family, what they do ... Dad was a lot like that, is like that," Anderson said. "As a result, when Stefen was being brought up, I think he saw all of that and emulated that to some degree."

The third-year starter will shoulder more of a leadership role, too.

"That meant leading some drills a couple times a week, trying to get everyone better on their technique," Wisniewski said. "Now, it's kind of doing some of the same things, trying to help everyone improve on what they do."

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