Angelo Mangiro has a new “position” to add to the many he already plays for the Penn State football team.
The verstatile offensive lineman from Roxbury was named one of five team captains for the upcoming season, which includes a Sept. 19 visit to University Park, Pa. by new Big Ten rival Rutgers.
Mangiro started every game — 10 at center, two at right tackle and one at left guard — last season for an otherwise inexperienced, injury-plagued offensive line that was Penn State’s weakness at times, especially without then-captain Miles Dieffenbach.
“When he wasn’t able to play, I took it upon myself that I have to be the voice for our offensive line and lead some young guys,” Mangiro said at Big Ten media day in Chicago.
“During winter workouts, being a fifth-year (senior), I knew taking a look around that I had to be the guy who is vocal and helps push guys through workouts because that’s what the team needs.”
Penn State’s offense finished last season on a high note, with 453 yards in a win against Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl.
Mangiro, a three-year starter, is on the preseason watch list for the Rimmington Trophy, which is awarded to the nation’s top center. He will be instrumental in protecting Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg, seen as the potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
The former all-conference selection at Roxbury High School was recruited as the No. 2-ranked offensive guard in the country by ESPN to Penn State by former coach Joe Paterno.
Mangiro and other redshirt seniors stayed loyal to Penn State when allegations of a child sex scandal against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky surfaced during their true freshman year. Bill O’Brien replaced Paterno as head coach but later left for the NFL and was replaced by James Franklin.
“I think my story of what I’ve been through and what this team has been through speaks for itself,” Mangiro said. “Paterno, O’Brien, some interim head coaches, now. The way I finish it up hopefully is a good story.”
Staff Writer Ryan Dunleavy: firstname.lastname@example.org