UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) — For most people, the question of “where are you from?” is pretty straightforward– for Penn State senior punter Barney Amor, that question is anything but easy.
“That is probably the hardest question of every interview,” said Amor. “It normally depends. I always say, for like simple stuff. I’ll just say like, I’m from Pennsylvania, just because I went to high school, but it normally depends.”
Amor is a citizen of the world. He was born in Leiden, Netherlands near Amsterdam. Then, he and his family moved to Victor, New York near Rochester. Amor lived in Bucks County for middle and high school. Prior to his time in Happy Valley, he went to Colgate University. Since COVID-19, Amor has spent time in Virginia, New Jersey, and Chicago, but often visits his parents in Switzerland.
Of all the places Amor has lived, Switzerland is his favorite.
“The mountains are like probably three times the size of everything [compared to the mountains in Central PA,]” said Amor. “And the atmosphere. Like food. Everything is, like, all super organic.”
The world’s sport is soccer, so it should come as know surprise Amor grew up on the pitch. He first started kicking field goals in middle school.
“Literally, I was at soccer middle school practice, and football was like right next to the soccer field,” said Amor. “And I was like, ‘Oh, they don’t have a kicker.’ I was like, ‘Oh, maybe I can figure it out.'”
And he did “figure it out,” becoming an All-State kicker at Central Bucks East. He committed to Colgate University as a kicker, before giving punting a shot.
The kid that was in front of me, Chris Puzzi, could always kick five yards shorter than I could kick,.” said Amor. “He was the year above me, which means I’m not going to play. I knew the punter was leaving, so I was like, ‘Oh, I’ll just start punting again. I’ll figure that out.'”
After three years at Colgate, Amor graduated and entered the transfer portal, where surprisingly, his Swiss connections led him to Happy Valley.
“An analyst here, Eric Raisbeck reached out and was like, ‘Hey, I’ve seen you’ve lived in Switzerland,'” said Amor. “He was like, ‘I used to coach there coach for a while.'”
Last season, Amor walked-on to Penn State and sat behind now-Ravens Punter Jordan Stout. The two became fast friends.
“Jordan is the nicest person you’ll ever meet,” said Amor. “Like, I swear, even if you wanted to hate that kid, you can’t.”
The time was well-served.
“I mean, did I plan on coming be behind the best punter in the country? No,” said Amor. “But, I was able to learn a lot, I was able to take in kind of a whole experience of everything last year. So, it’s not like it’s a crazy shock to me when now like stuff like this is happening.”
Amor leads the country in percentage of punts downed inside the 20, and the ten. Once again, Penn State’s punter is turning heads, and nobody loves it more than his teammates.
“It’s all love and joking around and stuff,” said Amor. “Everyone will be like, ‘oh my God, I didn’t mean to get in your way!’ I screw around with Mitch Tinsley all day. I’ll see him, I’m like, ‘oh, Big Dog!’ And he’ll be like, ‘no, no, no, that’s you!’ And it’s those relationships you’re building are the ones that kind of make, I think, football special. It’s the stuff that a lot of people don’t see that makes it so much more.”