Player Spotlight: Stefen Wisniewski

Audio/Story posted January 30, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Josh Portney

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Former Penn Stater and offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski wasn’t supposed to start on the offensive line for the Kansas City Chiefs, but now that he’s on the team, he’s become an asset that the unit can simply not perform well without.

Born in Pittsburgh, Wisniewski played for the Nittany Lions from 2007-2011 and was the first true freshman since Joe Iorio in 1999 to start on the offensive line. In his freshman year, he earned All-Big Ten honors: the first of many distinctions that he would earn in his collegiate career. He played all the way through his senior year when he became Penn State’s 95th first team All-American and went on to the 2011 NFL Draft. 

Selected by the Oakland Raiders in the second round, Wisniewski started at left guard and was named Week 3 Rookie of the Week. Wisniewski’s contributions to the offensive line made the Raiders the sixth strongest rushing offense, while the Raiders let up the third-fewest sacks in the league.

After three years with the Raiders, Wisniewski picked up a one-year deal with the Jaguars and put in a modest season in 2016. Then, the star offensive lineman moved on to the Philadelphia Eagles, where he would be remembered the most. 

He started in 11 games and played in 14 for the Eagles in the 2017 regular season and was instrumental in Philadelphia’s Super Bowl run. Wisniewski’s help on the offensive line is arguably what led the team to victory after victory, as the Eagles won the Built Ford Tough Offensive Line of the Year during that season.

The Eagles’ 41-33 victory over the Patriots in Super Bowl 52 has lived on in Wisniewski’s mind forever. In fact, the home screen on his phone features his Super Bowl ring, and it inspires him to want to win it again. He’s the only former Eagle that won the Super Bowl with Philadelphia in 2017 to be playing in Super Bowl 54.

His remaining two years with the Eagles went well until he was released during roster cuts in late August 2019. Stranded without a team, Wisniewski was still determined to play again and compete for another Lombardi Trophy.

In Week 6 of this year, Wisniewski got his chance when he was picked up by the Chiefs and used sporadically, until left guard Andrew Wylie suffered an ankle injury in Week 15. By Week 16, Wisniewski was finally starting as a Chief. In the time span since, he’s paved the way for the Chiefs to rush for more than 100 yards in each of the remaining two regular season games and two postseason games.

His incredible skills as a guard have made many think of him as an extremely underrated signing. The Chiefs may have picked him up to fill in on the interim, but he has shaped up to be an asset that defines the Kansas City offensive line.

A Penn Stater at heart, Stefen Wisniewski will take his magic to Miami to try and win his second Super Bowl ring in three years.

 

Josh Portney is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jxp776@psu.edu.