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Penn State Forever: Matt Stankiewitch gets positive review on NFL debut

I am not really sure what happened to the great NFL resource for all thing Penn State related, but in his absence I wanted to share this quick link to a story on former Nittany Lion Matt Stankiewitch. Stankiewitch made his NFL debut on Friday night for the New England Patriots in Philadelphia against the Eagles. The Patriots won the game and the former Penn State lineman received some praise in his first taste of the pros.

From The Republican Herald in Pottsville, PA;

In front of a large contingent of friends, family and well-wishers, Stankiewitch got to showcase his talents at football's biggest level. Stankiewitch was a member of the Patriots' second-team offensive line and played center for seven straight possessions in Friday's 31-22 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

The 6-foot-4, 305-pound undrafted rookie participated in 43 plays, helping backup quarterbacks Ryan Mallett and Tim Tebow compile 17 points and a drive that resulted in a missed field goal.

"I'm just glad to be here," Stankiewitch said afterward. "I have to learn the plays and keep getting better every day. It's a process, and you have to keep grinding."

The amount of playing time that Stankiewitch saw in Friday's preseason contest was amazing considering he was re-signed by the Patriots just six days prior and had participated in just four practices of training camp. Stankiewitch wasn't listed on New England's pre-game roster and wasn't listed on the numerical and alphabetical depth charts given to the media in the press box.

Unfortunately for Stankiewitch, he had to play center for Ryan Mallett, the former Wolverine-turned-Razorback, and Tim Tebow instead of for Tom Brady. Still, there is always something special about playing in your first NFL game. What happens next remains to be seen, but at leat things got off on the right foot for Stankiewitch.

Kevin McGuire is the managing editor of Nittany Lions Den. Follow him on TwitterGoogle+ and Facebook.

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