MILL HALL - They meet up around 6:30 a.m. every morning.
The first person, considered the greatest mastermind of defensive football the college game has ever seen, hops on the exercise bike and begins to grind the pedals around in a circle.
The second person, who occupies a stair master next to the bike, is hoping that his defense carries that always-coveted national crown back to a valley that cries, dreams and bleeds the game.
Central Mountain defensive coach Jerry Sandusky talks to members of the Wildcat team on the sidelines during their game against Tyrone earlier in the year.
NATE WILSON/THE EXPRESS
That's when Jerry Sandusky and Tom Bradley begin to talk football.
Just imagine if those pieces of exercise equipment had ears to absorb the knowledge and expertise each one brings to the table.
"I think the biggest thing he's afraid of is that he's going to be too far on the field," said Bradley, who serves as defensive coordinator at Penn State. "He still loves the game of football, and he still loves to win. The one thing about Jerry Sandusky is that he's so committed to what he does. He loves coaching, and he really enjoys working with the kids."
Sandusky's legend still rings aloud in University Park. It was under his reign as defensive coordinator that Penn State gained national attention as "Linebacker U" with 10 first-team All-Americans at the position.
He retired - with a shutout of Texas A&M in the 1999 Alamo Bowl - to devote more time to the Second Mile Program that he founded.
Don't think the fire doesn't still burn inside his stomach.
Through the Second Mile is how he became introduced to Central Mountain High School, one of the smallest Quad-A schools in the state of Pennsylvania.
It's here where the next chapter of Sandusky's legendary coaching career would begin; this time, as an assistant high school coach.
"I knew some kids from way back, and I took an interest in them. From there, I got to know the coaches, and I became interested in the football program," Sandusky said. "I just want to help the best that I can. It's like an emotional roller coaster. You go through the ups and the downs of dealing with people. I come here because I love doing it, and I thought that I could help in some way."
In his years of grooming the Wildcat defense, Central Mountain continues to make strides. The Bald Eagle Township school is coming off its school-best 6-4 from one season ago. If the blue and white are able to pull out the next four games, it would top 2007 with a 7-3 overall record.
"If you look at where our defense has come, even since the beginning of Central Mountain, it's incredible," CM head coach Steve Turchetta said. "Offenses have changed so much over the years. When I first started coaching, it was a straight 5-2 and you lined up in that. The prime example is Hollidaysburg. They are all over the place. Sometimes, they go no backs. Other times, they use one back. To have someone like Jerry who understands those things, and could put the kids in good positions to win, is important. The most important thing is they are learning a lot of life lessons from him.
"What can you say? He is one of the top defensive coordinators in the history of college football working with the kids and with the program. To even have a person like him on your staff is remarkable. He comes down here, and can share the experiences he has had in his 30-plus years of coaching. He's such a great man. We owe a lot to him."
Sandusky, though, doesn't have a measuring stick he uses.
"We've defeated some teams that we should have beaten, and we didn't beat the teams that we could have beaten," he smiled.
While his knowledge of the X's and O's is untouchable, it's the glimmer of his personality that shines the brightest.
Not only is he a teacher of the game, his classroom involves more than stunts, traps and blitzes. He wants to tutor these kids about the most important game: The one called life.
"You have to look at who he is, and what he stands for," said Williamsport head coach Tom Gravish, who has known Sandusky ever since his coaching days at East Juniata. "He stands for everything that is right in life. There's so much more to him than the game of football. I refer to him as Saint Jerry because I have so much respect for him. I'll never forget when we had a football festival when I was at EJ, and I asked him about helping us out. He never wavered. He said, 'Absolutely, I'm there.' He has so much energy and is always smiling."
"When you talk with coach Sandusky, he talks more about life and his passion for that."
Even today, he and Bradley still share their trials and tribulations at Penn State. They even banter about the current situations at University Park and Mill Hall.
"He has that pride, not only to be a good football coach, but to be a good all-around person," Bradley said. "He has so many experiences that he brings to the table with him, coaching at Penn State and whatnot. But he also knows and understands how you handle yourself as a person."
His passion is undeniably unmatched. Stand next to him on the sidelines any Friday night and you'll see a person who loves and respects the game. And it extends to the practice field where Sandusky isn't afraid to run on the grass, get in a specific position and physically demonstrate what he is trying to teach.
"I've spent more time here this year than any other year. I wish I had more time," Sandusky said. "I balance it a little differently than I used to. High school football of today is much more sophisticated than it was 10 years ago. And it's the same with college football. The opportunity to work year around has helped programs, especially in the passing game."
His passion is also noticed by opponents.
"We went against them at a Lock Haven University passing camp, and his team was struggling a little bit," Gravish said. "He let them have it, and all of our players saw that. Here is a legend, a football genius, that is so passionate about his team and their improvement as players and individuals. I think our kids understood why we were so hard on them, and what we were trying to do as well."
In addition, The Second Mile continues to succeed. It has nine programs that touches well over 100,000 kids in all counties of the state. It has three offices - in State College, Camp Hill and King of Prussia.
"There are things going on all the time," he said. "The Second Mile continues to grow."
Now, Sandusky and his Wildcats look toward the future. That begins Friday night against Bellefonte at Lock Haven University's Hubert Jack Stadium.
The game plan has been drawn up, and he has drilled the defense.
For the game. For your teammates. For life.
"It comes down to every person; how important it is in their life, how much time and effort they put into it and the commitment they make," Sandusky said.
"I know that the great programs, the successful programs, the passion and commitment is extremely high. There are young people that make that almost year-round commitment.
"Football is a great game with tremendous skill people. That's why I'm still coaching because I love it."