Penn State throwback: Curt Warner, a champion and Hall-of-Famer
Photo courtesy of the Historical Society of Dauphin County
Every Thursday throughout the offseason, PennLive will take a look back at a former Penn State player, recapping his time with the Nittany Lions, his accomplishments while in Happy Valley and where his career took him after college football. This week, we look back at running back Curt Warner, Penn State’s record-setter, national champion and Hall-of-Famer.
Curt Warner was a star long before his days at Penn State — at least in his hometown. Warner graduated from Pineville High School in West Virginia, where he excelled in more than just football. During his prep career, he earned first team all-state honors in football, basketball and baseball and was the first person to win the Harrison H. Kennedy Award as West Virginia’s top football player and West Virginia’s Amateur Athlete of the Year in the same year.
As a senior at Pineville, Warner rushed for 2,532 yards and scored 48 touchdowns. He also amassed more than 1,500 points over three seasons on the basketball team. Those accolades earned him a spot in the West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.
During his first year on campus, Warner served as a reserve to starting tailback Matt Suhey and Booker Moore. But that didn’t stop him from contributing on the field. Warner appeared in 11 games during his freshman season, rushing for 391 yards and two touchdowns on 84 carries. He also caught 10 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown.
Penn State finished with a 7-4 regular season record and a spot in the Liberty Bowl. There, the Nittany Lions beat Tulane, 9-6. They ended the year ranked No. 20 nationally by the Associated Press.