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One on One with Nate Stupar

Photo Courtesy of PSU Athletics

What was it like to first step on the Beaver Stadium turf as you played your first game?
It was a completely surreal experience. I had been on the field during games as a recruit, but nothing compares to 110,000 fans screaming and cheering for you and your teammates.

What was your favorite moment as a Nittany Lion?
When we were playing against Purdue and I had an interception, when I got tackled I looked up and my dad was standing right there on the sideline. We have a picture of it, it was a really great moment for us.

How would you describe playing for the “Blue and White”?
A tradition unlike anything else. When you put on that Blue and White, you can’t help but think of the great players who have come before you and helped shape this football team into what it means to be a Nittany Lion today.

At what age to did you start playing football?
I think I started around 12-13 years old at Assembly of God in State College.

What was it like when you were being recruited by Penn State?
To be honest I didn’t like them at the time. They weren’t winning and they didn’t offer my older brother a scholarship who ended up going to UVA and playing 3 years for the Buffalo Bills in the NFL.

Do you still get together with some of your former teammates from Happy Valley?
Yes both Nittany Lions and Little Lions! Most of my best friends derive from one of the two teams.

How was your first year in the NFL? Was it a tough transition moving up from college to the pros.
It was a rough first few years as I constantly had the stress of knowing I could be let go any day since I was on the practice squad. It was very stressful for Marissa and I not knowing where we could be tomorrow.

How is it playing for the Saints?
It’s awesome. It is such an amazing city with amazing people. They know who they are. They are a very passionate fanbase.

I’m going to put you on the spot..lol Who has a louder fan base Penn State fans or the fans of New Orleans?
Both lol

What are your goals for the upcoming season?
My goals every year are similar… be able to do my job regardless of what that might entail. This past year I was called upon to play more Defense than I had in the past (and not just special teams) which was a fun but demanding challenge. This year I will set a goal to continue to lead the team in Special Teams tackles and to adequately answer any other opportunity thrown my way.

You will hosting the first of hopefully many Training Camps this June. How did this come about.
This is something I have always wanted to do. With so many great athletes coming through State College and the surrounding area, it seems long overdue to be able to put on a camp where kids are encouraged to come learn, get better and most importantly, COMPETE.

How did you get involved with the organization State of Hope?
Marissa has always been involved in non profits as this has been a longtime passion of hers. Once we found stability it was important for us to create a foundation that would help support and grow the community that gave us so much. The next step was finding someone we trusted to run the day to day operations and help make our dream become a reality and that was a no brainer in a lifelong friend of mine, Joe Gazza.

Talk a little about what the organization does?
The State of Hope Foundation has set out to provide children of low income families, single parents, and other less fortunate situations with positive life experiences that they may not be able to obtain otherwise. We plan on achieving this goal by doing things like putting on a football camp, creating a backpacking program for kids locally in need, funding trips, and finding other ways in the community to contribute. We have strong alliances with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Centre County, Penns Valley Youth Center, Park Forest Day Nursery and other local organizations that we will continue to collaborate with in order to hopefully make a difference.

There will also be a lot of familiar faces from the teams of Penn State teams past helping you at this camp. Could you name some?
Derek Moye is the only player from Penn State who is actually attending. Not sure if you want to keep this question in or not

If someone is interested in attending the training camp, how would they go about it? What age groups will you be targeting?
probably too late for this question – can leave out

Finally, what advice would you give to youngsters just getting involved in organized football?
Never stop learning. In order to do that, LISTEN TO YOUR COACHES. You can never work hard enough so be sure to leave no regrets, even on the practice field. You can always improve, even at the NFL level.

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