"He was a father and a husband, and I consider him a friend. He was really the only person that gave me an opportunity to play football, and I'll never forget him for that. So thank you, Coach."
McGloin, a junior who came to Penn State as a walk-on, was one of three current football players, joined by former all-American offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski, to speak to the crowd, warmed by the candles but otherwise shivering in 28-degree weather.
Sophomore cornerback Mike Wallace also spoke of the fact that Paterno gave him a chance to play football when no other Division I coaches would.
"Joe Paterno saw a special light in me and my potential," Wallace said. "He recruited off of your character, not just the athlete and not just the student. We are a reflection of who Joe Paterno was. I can't explain how much he means to me. He'll never be forgotten because, truly, legends never die."
Wisniewski, who just completed his rookie season with the Oakland Raiders, drew laughter from the otherwise hushed crowd when he demonstrated the way Paterno, then 82, crouched to teach him how to snap a football when the coach moved him to center.
He acknowledged that Paterno made mistakes, as does any human being, but added that when he looks back on the coach's legacy in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual-abuse scandal, "the events that have happened over the last three months won't even cross my mind."
"I remember walking through Paterno Library, which exists only because Joe Paterno loved the university enough to donate millions of dollars for it to be created," he said. "He was committed not just to Penn State football, but Penn State as a university.
"He loved this place, and all of us who are part of Penn State are better as a result."
Also speaking were junior quarterback Shane McGregor and John Teece, the president of "Paternoville" - an area near Beaver Stadium where students camp out during game week to get the best seats on Saturday.
Teece said the ground would continue to be called Paternoville.
Contact staff writer Joe Juliano at 215-854-4494, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @joejulesinq on Twitter. Read his blog, "Lion Eyes," at www.philly.com/lioneyes