Penn State unveiled a new starter during its Rose Bowl preparations in Los Angeles, but it wasn't on offense, defense or special teams.
On Dec. 24, the Nittany Lions held their annual Christmas party at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel. And enjoying his first taste of prime-time action was true freshman Brandon Ware, who got the nod as the team's new Santa Claus.
In his role as Santa, the 6-foot-3, 361-pound defensive tackle from Harrisburg was called upon to present gifts to the children of Penn State's assistant coaches and staffers, and while doing so crack wise about coaches, teammates and basically everyone except the kids.
For the first time in the long tradition of the Penn State Santa (which gained prominence when Anthony Adams starred in the role in the early part of this decade), there were actually two former team Santas still on the roster when Ware made his debut.
All-American center A.Q. Shipley handled Santa duties following the 2005 and 2006 seasons. Last year, he turned the role over to defensive tackle Abe Koroma.
Unfortunately, Koroma's debut routine was deemed a bit risqué for some of the younger (and older) members of his audience. When he encountered off-field issues earlier this season, his career as PSU Santa
officially went up in smoke.
So Ware was given the nod as the new first-string Santa. How did he do?
Check out the video below to get the first reviews.