Player Spotlight: Mike Hull
Penn State outside linebacker Mike Hull looks to make an impact in Saturday’s game against Illinois. Hull, a redshirt sophomore, is developing into one of the premier linebackers for the Nittany Lions.
In 2011, Hull used his speed and quickness to break up two passes and block a field goal. Primarily playing on special teams, Hull recorded 18 total tackles, including three tackles for loss.
This year as a backup to senior Gerald Hodges, Hull has continued to make his presence felt. Earlier this season against Navy, Hull returned a fumble for a touchdown for 74 yards that capped off the 34-7 win for Penn State.
At just 6-feet and 228 pounds, Hull is undersized for his position but doesn’t see that as a disadvantage.
“It helps for quickness because I’m not as big as some of those other guys,” he said.
“If you’re taller, you’re gonna weigh more, you’re gonna have a little bit more pop whenever you’re hitting somebody.”
Hull’s size has been helping him with the pass defense, since he can match up with receivers better than most linebackers. Because of that, Hull said he views himself as a “third down guy” against the pass game.
In four games this season, the redshirt sophomore has recorded 16 total tackles, two of them being tackles for loss. He has made opposing quarterbacks think a little bit more when he is on the field and has gotten into the backfield for two sacks this season.
Head coach Bill O’Brien said in his Tuesday press conference before the Temple game that Hull was a “Penn State linebacker” adding to the tradition of great linebackers in the program.
Mike Hull is also a dean’s list student, earning a 3.54 grade point average in finance in the last spring semester, as well as receiving Academic All-Big Ten honors last year. This year Hull will look to keep getting better at what he does, on and off the field.
Alex Passaretti is a freshman majoring in journalism. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.