By Todd Hummel
For The Daily Item
UNIVERSITY PARK -- Not much has changed for Ryan Keiser in the four years he's been on campus at Penn State University.
He's still humble to a fault.
Describing his senior year in high school in football and baseball to a student from the Nittany Lions sports information staff as pretty good, a year in which Keiser helped Selinsgrove win its first state title in football with 19 touchdowns, 61 catches and 1,144 yards, along with 10 homers and 34 RBIs to lead the area in 2010.
Still not fond of talking about himself, he was bouncing on the balls of his feet during an interview on Thursday morning at the Penn State University media day.
And despite his athletic gifts, he's still one of the hardest workers around, earning a scholarship from coach Bill O'Brien after starting his career as a walk-on.
"It was definitely nice getting that offer. Coach O'Brien had told me there was a possibility," Keiser said. "When I got it, I was so thankful, so blessed. It doesn't change my work ethic, it just means my school's getting paid for, it's not going to change how hard I work."
Now it's time for the next step in that journey for the senior with junior eligibility from Selinsgrove. The 6-foot-1 205-pounder has played mostly on special teams, including as the holder on 62 placements. He had five tackles on defense, including three against Indiana.
This season Keiser is battling Malcolm Willis for one of the starting safety spots in the Nittany Lions' defensive secondary.
"I'm just looking to help the team out any way I can -- special teams, on defense and holding," Keiser said. "I'm going out and giving it my all every day and competing.
"That's all I can do."
It's the type of competitiveness that coach O'Brien wants in his Penn State squad.
During Thursday's press conference, O'Brien mentioned that he and defensive coordinator John Butler can really go at it when the offensive and defensive squads square off.
"We are all out there competing, having fun and getting after each other," Keiser said.
It's also refreshing for this Nittany Lion squad to just concentrate on football the year after O'Brien's first year at the helm.
"It's nice to just concentrate on football," Keiser said. "That's why we're all here right now."
However, the one plus from last year's controversy was how the Penn State team, led by the senior players, stuck around and became leaders of the healing.
But Keiser doesn't think there will be a leadership void.
"We have seniors that are leaders that have been leaders for a couple of seasons," Keiser said. "We have a focused group. The whole team is coming together and gelling together."
While things haven't changed much on the field for Keiser, they have off the field.
The 22-year old joined Newport's Matt Lehman as the only married Penn State player.
Keiser married former Midd-West athlete Mackenzie Herbster last month.