Q&A: At the point of attack

Matt Forman

Penn State outside linebacker Sean Lee was a First-Team All-American selection in 2007, but missed all of 2008 with a torn ACL. Lee, a Pittsburgh, Pa., native, has returned to lead the Nittany Lions defense in 2009. The 6-foot-2, 236-pound senior has compiled 37 tackles, including 7.5 for loss, to go along with two sacks. The Daily’s Matt Forman sat down with Lee at Big Ten Media Day in July.

Daily Sports: What’s your favorite movie and why?

Sean Lee: I have a bunch of favorite movies. My uncle produces movies like “Vanilla Sky,” so that’s been one of my favorite movies since I was young. And I like Bill Murray a lot, so anything he’s in.

DS: What’s your pre-game ritual like?

SL: I’m pretty boring to tell you the truth; I don’t do too much to get ready. I warm up and stretch out. I try to stay calm, collect my thoughts and think about the game.

DS: What’s it like playing at a sold-out Beaver Stadium?

SL: It’s great. The first time you see Beaver Stadium you get chills down your back. The first time you realize you’re going to play in it you get chills down your back again. I remember the first game I played in against Ohio State in 2005, it was almost surreal how big and loud the stadium was. You couldn’t even talk to someone next to you.

DS: What’s your favorite stadium to play at the Big Ten?

SL: I’m partial to Beaver Stadium, but I always like going to The Shoe (at Ohio State) as well. It’s another big stadium with loud fans. In the Big Ten, the players are spoiled. We always play in front of great crowds.

DS: What’s it like going up against Daryll Clark in practice everyday?

SL: I’ll tell you what, our team goes as Daryll goes. I think he’s one of the best players in the country. He was great for us last year.

DS: Even though you were injured last year, who has been the toughest guy to tackle in the Big Ten?

SL: Beanie Wells was tough to tackle. Tyrell Sutton was tough to tackle. Mike Hart was tough because he was short and would put his head right into your chest, and he had a good motor.

DS: What are you like away from the field?

SL: I’m all football all the time. I hang out with my friends, of course. I try to play the guitar, but it doesn’t really work for me. I like to play other sports and I took a fly fishing class this summer.

DS: Who has been the most influential person in your life?

SL: My parents, for sure. They’ve shaped me and molded me and given me everything I’ve ever needed. I wouldn’t be where I am at all without their love and support.

DS: Tell me something about you not many people know.

SL: My brother was a kicker at Pittsburgh for the last three years.

DS: What was your first experience with Joe Paterno like?

SL: He came into my high school. The first thing I noticed was how thick his glasses were, I couldn’t believe it. But he’s gotten a little more stylish as he’s gotten older. I noticed how witty he was, even at his age. He’s always been really funny.

DS: What drove you to want to get healthy and back out on the field?

SL: Being on a third down, coming on a blitz and knowing the team is going to run right at you. Even getting nicks on your nose and bumps on your body. I love that.