Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Penn State retires John Cappelletti's No. 22

The Nittany Lions retired Cappelletti's No. 22 - the first number retired in the football team's history - in a halftime ceremony.

Penn State retires John Cappelletti's No. 22

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

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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. 

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About this blog
Joe Juliano has been a staff writer for The Inquirer for 20 years, covering college sports, golf and the Penn Relays.

Joining Joe this season will be Erin McCarthy, an intern for The Inquirer and a junior at Penn State majoring in print and digital journalism. This is Erin's first season on the Penn State football beat. She previously spent two summers as an Inquirer summer intern on the Pennsylvania and South Jersey desks. She is also an editor for the Daily Collegian, the university's student newspaper. A Delaware County native, Erin graduated from Episcopal Academy.

For Joe, this will be his fifth season on the paper's Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for United Press International from 1976 to 1984.

Reach Joe at jjuliano@phillynews.com.

Joe Juliano Inquirer Staff Writer
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