In quarterback Matt McGloin, coach Bill O'Brien found the shining example of how much a former walk-on can succeed at Penn State.
A year for McGloin that included school records for career touchdown passes and single-season passing yards ended with the senior winning the Burlsworth Trophy, an award given to the top college player who started his career as a walk-on.
It was perfect timing for a program that might need to rely on walk-ons more over the next few seasons. Scholarship cuts that are part of the NCAA sanctions for the school's handling of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal start taking effect in 2013.
McGloin said he realized during the season that he could be a face for the program and encourage potential walk-ons.