Beyond the Trophy – Week 5

Each week we will feature a college football player who is either a member or an officer in a Uplifting Athletes Chapter for our Beyond the Trophy series.


Name: Mike Farrell

College: Penn State University

Height, weight, class, position: 6-6, 306 pounds, senior, offensive tackle

High School: Shady Side Academy, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

About Mike Farrell: In his second year as President of the Penn State Uplifting Athletes Chapter, Farrell is a starting offensive tackle for the Nittany Lions after playing nine games his junior year. The fifth-year senior is one of the leaders for first-year Penn State coach Bill O’Brien, Farrell is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and posted a perfect 4.0 GPA during the spring 2012 semester.

As a player, what is your favorite part of game day you get to experience at your home stadium?
Farrell: I think out of all the things that take place on game day, getting off the bus in front of Beaver Stadium is the most memorable. The fans that show up every week. Especially this year, it has been awesome.

What is your most memorable experience as a college football player?
Farrell: Just to be a part of such a great tradition. Having the chance to make an impact in any possible way as a Penn State football player is something that I consider an awesome opportunity.

What drove you to get involved with Uplifting Athletes, and what if anything has this experience done for you?
Farrell: The older leaders of the team when I was a young player sparked my interest in Uplifting Athletes. After I got my foot in the door as a freshman I found myself taking on a larger role every year. I think that Uplifting Athletes has given me the chance to do a lot of things that I wouldn’t have seen in the classroom or with my football experience.

Facebook, Twitter or neither and why?
Farrell: I guess I have to say both. I never had any interest in Twitter until the end of this past summer I ended up creating an account. I still don’t tweet much however.

What is the toughest team you’ve faced or regularly play and what makes them so difficult?
Farrell: Playing against Alabama the previous two years was probably the game that drew the most attention when we played them. Also Ohio State is always a great rivalry that the players look forward to.

What is your chosen major, and what if anything have you used from that major as a contribution to your Uplifting Athletes Chapter?
Farrell: I am a Secondary Education English Major. I have definitely used the ability to communicate with those around me when working with UA. That has been something I have learned the importance of in my major and have tried to apply during my experience with Uplifting Athletes.

Besides one of your teammates, name a college football player you enjoy watching?
Farrell: I haven’t had the chance to see too many games this year but the season the Geno Smith from West Virginia is having is pretty unbelievable.

Who is your favorite NFL player and why?
Farrell: As a Steelers fan I would say Troy Polamalu. He makes a lot of plays that are almost hard to believe.

What was or is the inspiration for the Rare Disease your Uplifting Athletes Chapter is raising money for to be part of the fight?
Farrell: The inspiration originated as a way to raise money for kidney cancer research after former team member Scott Shirley’s father was diagnosed with the disease in 2002. The inspiration remains the same more than 10 successful years later.

What is your favorite road stadium to play in and why?
Farrell: The trip to the Big House at Michigan when I was younger was a trip that I really looked forward to. Also the trip to Alabama was another stadium that I will always remember being at.

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