Years ago, if you had told Shane McGregor that he would be playing for Penn State’s football team he said he “would laugh and say, ‘That’s a good one.’ ”
McGregor, a member of this year’s Homecoming court, is from Ebensburg, Pa. With his mother being a Penn State graduate and attending Penn State football games since he was younger, McGregor said he has grown up “knowing all about Penn State.”
McGregor (senior-print journalism and English) was recruited by a lot of smaller schools to play football, and it wasn’t until late in his senior year that Penn State contacted him, he said.
“Where I was doesn’t add up to where I am now,” he said. “These are blessings I don’t deserve.”
McGregor said that he was never the “All-American” of his town.
“If you even asked who the best quarterback in the conference was, they wouldn’t have said me,” he said.
When it came to playing for Penn State, it was a “big change,” he said. He was a walk-on for the team and knew that to make it he needed to work hard and get better.
Football was not the only reason McGregor chose Penn State.
“I realized this might be the best place for my field. I get the best of athletics and academics here,” he said.
When asked what his favorite Penn State memory is, McGregor said, “everything that has and will happen here.”
“If you pick one it betrays the others. I have had a lot of successes and hardships, but you can’t have light without darkness,” he said.
Aside from playing football, some might be surprised to know that McGregor is a very spiritual person. He is very involved in the campus ministry and even started two on-campus prayer groups that meet during the week, as well as a rosary prayer group. He also serves as a lector during mass on Sundays.
McGregor said that as far as the future is concerned, “I don’t even want to venture a guess.”
“I just want to use the gifts God gave me and take the things I’ve learned here and pay it forward,” he said.
His good deeds have definitely not gone unnoticed by his friends. McGregor’s friend and teammate Evan Lewis called him a “guy of great character.”
“He is the type of person that does the right thing all the time regardless if someone is watching and is a notable leader in anything he gets involved with,” Lewis said. “I’m proud to say he is one of my best friends from Penn State.”
He has also made a good impression on his professors here at Penn State. John Dillon, a senior lecturer in Penn State’s journalism department, was McGregor’s professor for an independent study class he took during the fall semester.
The class consisted of four students who were personally chosen by Dillon and the students wrote stories for the Centre Daily Times. Dillon said he chose McGregor because he had done well in a previous sports writing class and had won a scholarship through a national essay competition for his essay on the late head coach Joe Paterno.
Dillon said that McGregor deserves to be on the Homecoming court.
“He’s a really good representative and displays the best qualities of the student body,” Dillon said. “He’s smart, works hard, perseveres and has good goals. He’s everything you want to see in someone who is graduating from Penn State.”