WILKES-BARRE — On Thursday, it was a prestigious stint as a keynote speaker. At the start of the week, he had a baseball field named after him. Up soon is a trip to Harrisburg, where he will be honored by the state legislature.
College football is over for Matt McGloin. But his schedule is as busy as ever.
When the former Penn State quarterback isn’t preparing for a shot at the NFL, he’s appearing at events such as the Boy Scouts of America’s Distinguished Citizens Award Dinner, signing autographs and giving high-fives to excited kids.
McGloin was invited to be the guest speaker Thursday for the annual dinner, hosted by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Council at Genetti’s in Wilkes-Barre. He joined an impressive list of football luminaries such as Mike Ditka, Andy Reid and Charlie Weis, who have filled the role in recent years.
“Being from the area, I was happy to help out in any way I can,” McGloin said. “It’s great company to even be recognized in the same sentence as some of those guys. Speaking at something like this is truly an honor.”
McGloin has certainly been visible in the community before and after his record-setting season at Penn State. In the winter he was the face of charity events in Scranton benefiting the Children’s Advocacy Center of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
He has previously been the Native Son Honoree at Scranton’s St. Patrick’s Day parade and even had a Matt McGloin Day declared in Lackawanna County. Most recently, Penn State’s Worthington branch campus in Scranton announced it would be naming its under-construction baseball diamond “Matt McGloin Field.”
While his name is certainly recognizable in Pennsylvania, McGloin has gone on the offensive to get his name out into NFL circles.
He authored an essay that was sent to pro teams and media outlets about growing up in Scranton and how it shaped his life and football career, going from a walk-on to Penn State’s starting quarterback.
And, he hopes, an eventual spot on an NFL roster.
Penn State’s pro day was Monday in State College with representatives from all 32 teams on hand, as the outgoing Nittany Lions worked out in hopes of catching some eyes before next month’s entry draft.
“I thought it went well,” McGloin said. “My times were good, the drills went well, I threw well. Just have to wait and see for another month what happens. Hopefully I get some interest from what happened Monday.”
The West Scranton grad ended up in West Hollywood, Calif., during the winter to prepare for pro day and was generally pleased with the results.
And, of course, it doesn’t hurt that he got to play for a year in an NFL-style offense for Bill O’Brien, who has plenty of ties to the league himself.
“He really gave me the keys to the offense. He put a lot of trust and a lot of faith in me,” McGloin said of O’Brien. “Hopefully teams can realize that and let me come in and see what I can do.”
Aside from his years spent coaching with the New England Patriots, O’Brien has the ear of a pair of first-year NFL head coaches who will be looking for players in the draft and free agency afterward.
New Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone is one of O’Brien’s closest friends in the profession. New Philadelphia Eagles boss Chip Kelly has also known O’Brien for years and consulted the Patriots on their no-huddle offense while he was at Oregon.
It was Kelly who singled out McGloin earlier this month at the Maxwell Football Club banquet. McGloin and much of the Lions’ senior class made the trip to Atlantic City, as the group was honored with a special spirit award and O’Brien was presented with the organization’s coach of the year award.
A video that played before O’Brien’s presentation described how he went from coaching Tom Brady to inheriting “a sometimes erratic Matt McGloin.”
When Kelly took the podium later in the evening, he had some kind words for O’Brien and Penn State before addressing McGloin by name.
“I wasn’t great at the SATs. I guess I learned that the word ‘erratic’ is synonymous with ‘winner.’ Because that kid’s a winner,” Kelly said. “I love watching you play, and I’m a huge fan of yours.”