Penn State retires John Cappelletti's No. 22

Penn State football players play at Beaver Stadium. (Keith Srakocic/AP)

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — At halftime of the Nittany Lions’ game against Eastern Michigan, Penn State retired John Cappelletti’s No. 22 — the first number retired in the football team’s history.

Cappelletti was in attendance for the 1973 undefeated team’s reunion. The Heisman Trophy winning running back stood behind the rest of the team as each player was acknowledged to the fans at Beaver Stadium. He was announced last. 

Cappelletti, an Upper Darby, Pa. native, accepted his retired jersey on the field, next to his Heisman Trophy. 

“It’s unbelievable,” Cappelletti said. “In all the years this school has been here, the players that have gone through here, for me to be the one to have the jersey retired, it’s unbelievable. It’s hard to comprehend right now.” 

Cappelletti won the Heisman in 1973, rushing for 1,522 yards and 17 touchdowns during the team’s 12-0 campaign. He is the Lions’ No. 9 all-time rusher with 2,639 career yards. 

Current Penn State running back Akeel Lynch currently wears No. 22, and he will continue to wear that number for the rest of his Penn State career.