The Odysseus of Penn State Football?

Incipit of a piece from, which is interesting, perhaps, given former coach Joe Paterno’s obsession with the Aeneid:

Very little time was needed for John Urschel, one of the most thoughtful members of this Penn State football team, to turn to literature to describe Michael Mauti.

“He reminds me of Odysseus,” began Urschel, a 4.0 student in, naturally, mathematics. “They try to travel back home after the fighting — that was covered in the Iliad, I believe — and the whole time while they’re trying to make it back, they face these troubles and these setbacks and they’re sent astray. But all the while he’s determined and focused to get back home, to stay the course. And no matter what comes in their way, no matter the Cyclops, the Sirens, he stays dedicated to get back to his family.

“I see a lot of parallels between Mauti and him and the way Mauti keeps fighting to come back, because at the end of the day, he’s a football player. I have no doubt that if he wants to, he’ll be back and he’ll be playing on Sundays if he really wants to do it because he’s that type of guy.” […]

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