(WTAJ) — The story of Matt McGloin, a former Penn State football quarterback is almost one any Penn State football fan can recite.
“If you know the story or not, I didn’t have any Division I offers,” he said. “I wanted to play in front of 100,000 [fans] I wanted to play on ABC, ESPN. Penn State was the only one that gave me that opportunity.”
After being a walk-on, Matt McGloin finished his career as Penn State’s second all-time leading passer (now fourth) and his career arced over one of Penn State’s most challenging eras. After a stint in the NFL, McGloin is back with the blue and white, in a way.
“Paydirt: A Penn State Football Podcast” is produced by BLEAV Sports, and this summer it grabbed the Nittany Lion quarterback who quickly tagged in a fellow Penn State alum as his co-host.
“I’ve been a wrestling fan my whole life, so that’s how I knew who Tom was,” said McGloin. “I had him on an old podcast and we just kind of kept in touch. So when BLEAV Network reached out to be about doing a podcast, I said yeah, I’d love to be apart of it, I’d love to talk Penn State football. Can I pick a co-host?… So I reached out to Tom and he was the first and only person I reached out to.”
Tom Hannifan, class of 2011, is known better to some as Tom Phillips, a former WWE ringside commentator.
“This is fun for me,” Hannifan said. “Getting to bounce my thoughts, predominantly as a fan, I don’t know if I’d call myself a journalist, but let’s say broadcaster. To bounce those off Matt and get grounded by it, or learn that maybe I was correct or see that we’re seeing it the same way. It’s been eye-opening, and I have to be on my game because one of the most important quarterbacks in the history of Penn State football is sitting across from me.
The two created a bit of a Penn State power-couple. Both with Penn State journalism degrees McGloin and Hannifan have two very different career paths. McGloin spent six seasons in the NFL, while Hannifan spent nine with the WWE. For both, its their love of Penn State football that brings them together.
“I always think things come full-circle,” said Hannifan. “It just seemed fitting that following my time at WWE that I got back to my roots, and Penn Sate football has always been apart of my life,” Hannifan said. “I remember watching LaVar Arrington played against Antwan Randell El and Indiana at Beaver Stadium and I was like ‘Where is LaVar! Where is LaVar?”
“It’s fun to talk about,” added McGloin. “It’s fantastic to break games down. It’s a lot more relaxing than playing. So I am enjoying it.”
“I think the beauty of our show versus other Penn State podcasts, is we’re out to be entertaining, we’re out to be unapologetic,” Hannifan said. “We’re both very opinionated guys, we both love and care about the program deeply, but we’re not going to pull punches.”
“Paydirt: A Penn State Football Podcast” is released weekly and available wherever you get your podcasts. The two also release their shows on YouTube.