Blue-White Player Spotlight: Mike Hull
With the Blue-White scrimmage coming up this Saturday, redshirt senior Mike Hull will look to finish off his career at Penn State with a winning season.
This may be one of the more important years in the Nittany Lions recent history, as new head coach James Franklin will lead the squad in 2014.
Hull, along with the rest of this senior class, has been through a lot. Hull has had four coaches in just five years at Penn State, but he says the coaches have made it pretty easy to adjust to the new situation.
“They’ve done a great job building relationships and letting us know their expectations of us, so I think that’s been the best thing, so I think everyone is transitioning really well,” Hull said.
With a new coach comes new expectations, but Hull says the expectations from Franklin aren’t too different from former coach Bill O’Brien. He mentioned that as long as they got the job done on the field and stayed out of trouble off the field, O’Brien would let them have some freedom.
“But coach Franklin really likes to be under control of everything,” Hull said. “He likes to make sure guys are going to class every single day. He really puts emphasis on education and what you do off the field, as well as what you do on the field.”
Hull will move to middle linebacker next year, which will make him the leader of the defense. Throughout his career, Hull has described himself as more of a quiet leader and knows now he will have to become more vocal during his senior campaign.
“Last year I was a lead-by-example guy, that’s kind of how I’ve been my whole career here, just work hard,” Hull said. “Now I realize I have to step up and talk and set everybody where they need to be and do what I gotta do to get the most out of everybody.”
As Hull knows, he will be taking on a leadership role. He looks to his past experiences with players like Michael Mauti and Glenn Carson to help him.
“Really I’m trying to get to the point where Mauti was at, expecting a lot out of guys, letting them know and just paying attention to vocals out there every single time,” Hull said.
Hull still believes there is room in his game for improvement, and has been focusing on his explosiveness this spring. Knee injuries have sidelined Hull throughout his time at Penn State, and getting back his explosiveness would be key for Hull.
“To probably just be more explosive, make more explosive plays and keep good body position,” Hull said. “A lot of it had to do with the knee last year, losing a lot of explosive movements.”
Last year, Hull recorded 61 total tackles, despite being sidelined for three games. Hull only had half of a sack last season, and moving to middle linebacker probably won’t require him to try and get any more sacks than he had last year.
Hull won’t let any injuries slow him down, though. He definitely doesn’t think about the past that much and let his injuries get the best of him.
“I try not to dwell on the past like that and injuries because you really can’t control that kind of stuff,” Hull said. “I have one more year left and that’s all that matters. Just looking towards the future and taking everything one day at a time.”
Alex Passaretti is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Senior / Broadcast Journalism
In addition to being a Penn State student, Alexander also contributes sports, music and news articles to Slant News, Inc. as a staff writer. He hosted New York Sports Connection and co-hosted NJ Bias for two years. Alexander hopes to one day pursue a career as a sports broadcaster.