Bill Friedah has been making the Bacon Explosion for years now, bringing multiple to every big Penn State home game. He tailgates on another level.
Cameron Clark, York Daily Record
Senior Brian Gaia was the man snapping him the ball and calling out blocking assignments in 2016. Last year it was Connor McGovern.
This season it’s been the biggest name of all — one of the Nittany Lions’ highest-rated offensive line recruits ever.
Michal Menet has rather quietly held down the leader spot on the offensive line each game this fall after getting a slower start than expected in college. His biggest test yet awaits Saturday against Michigan’s high-profile defense.
Menet could have played for most any program in the country coming out of high school. He was regarded as a top offensive tackle prospect by some, a top guard recruit by others.
And yet some always figured his future would be at center. It just took the redshirt sophomore a couple of years of learning his position and fighting through nagging injuries to break through.
His ceiling is high enough to push the well-regarded McGovern back to guard.
“You can see guys follow him,” McSorley said of Menet. “If he’s speaking up it means he’s being serious and guys listen. Because he doesn’t speak up too much …”
Meet Penn State offensive lineman Michal Menet
Height/weight: 6-foot-4, 298 pounds
Hometown: Birdsboro, Pa., near Reading
Academics: Majoring in psychology
Recruiting: The top 100 prospect nationally was ranked as a five-star recruit by Scout and a four-start recruit by 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals. Rated as the nation’s No. 1 offensive guard by 247Sports and the No. 1 offensive tackle by Scout. His scholarship offers included Alabama, Georgia, Florida State, Ohio State, Michigan and Stanford.
All in the family: His older brother, Christian, was a scholarship tight end at Eastern Michigan. His father, Brian, led Reading Central Catholic to a state basketball championship in 1985, then became a 1,000-point scorer for Franklin & Marshall College.
Ahead of his time: In sixth grade, his hands were big enough to palm a basketball. In seventh grade, he was advanced enough to start on the ninth-grade football team — a first at Exeter High, according to the Reading Eagle.
James Franklin called it: Last spring, Menet was still penciled in at guard. But Franklin hinted at a change.
“We think he has the ability to play all three inside positions, right and left guard as well as center. We think he may have a really bright future at the center position with his quickness.”
Best moment: His crushing block early in the Michigan State game paved the way for Miles Sanders’ 78-yard run against the nation’s top run defense.
He said it: “I was really leaning on the older guys in the beginning of the season. I think it’s gone well. I’ve always been a leader in my life as far as sports go, so I think (playing center) fits me well.”
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