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Former Nittany Lions reminisce on their past Rose Bowl experience

Members of the 2008-09 Rose Bowl team talk about their experience in Pasadena.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — The Penn State Nittany Lions returned to the Rose Bowl for only the fifth time in school history. 

Their last time was back in 2016—and before that, 2009—when fullback Dan Lawlor and tight end Mickey Shuler Jr. played for legendary coach Joe Paterno. 

Now, the result wasn't the one Penn State wanted, but the memories in Pasadena as seniors on that team would last forever. 

"The Rose Bowl is a once in a lifetime experience," said Lawlor. "Going there—just the history of it, the granddaddy of them all—it's the game that you want to play in."

"We played in the Orange Bowl, the Outback Bowl, the Alamo Bowl and we finished off with the Rose Bowl, so granted we didn't come out with the win, but still that experience and playing over the years with the guys that we came in together it was just a great experience."

His teammate has similar thoughts on one of the most legendary college football games of all time. 

"It's something you grow up watching, obviously; Penn State has been there four times—today is the fifth,' said Shuler Jr. "Not that many people get to do it and it's kind of a dream come true when you win that last game and get to go there."

Two local Penn State legends have memories that will always stick with them for the rest of their lives. 

"When teams go out there and get ready for the Rose Bowl, the whole experience they have, this whole thing is set up for the families," said Lawlor. "With the Rose Bowl parade, and it's truly like I said, once in a lifetime."

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