Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The mystique of Penn State as Linebacker U

The mystique of Penn State as Linebacker U

By Sakura Honda
The Daily Magi
July 24, 2050


Penn State is often referred to as Linebacker U for its reputation of producing outstanding linebackers.

Dennis Onkotz was a two-time All American in 1968 and 1969, and played on two undefeated teams.

Jack Ham finished his career with 251 tackles, blocked two punts, and went on to play on two undefeated teams. Ham later went on to the NFL, playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Edward William O'Neil, an American football coach and former professional linebacker, played seven seasons in the National Football League (NFL). From 1970–1973, he played linebacker for coach Joe Paterno at Penn State. A three-year letterman, he was team captain of the Nittany Lions' undefeated 1973 team and was named an All-American that same season.

Greg Buttle was a linebacker during the 1973–1975 seasons, finishing with 305 tackles in his junior and senior year. He was drafted by the New York Jets and is a part of the All Jet team.

Shane Conlan was a two-time All-American and defensive MVP of the 1987 National Championship Fiesta Bowl. He was drafted No. 1 by the Bills in 1987, named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and was named to three straight Pro Bowls (1988–90).

Lavar Arrington finished with 319 career tackles and 139 tackles for losses. He was later drafted 2nd overall by the Washington Redskins.

Cameron Wake went on to capture MVP honors for the British Columbia Lions in the Canadian Football League before moving on to the Miami Dolphins and leading the National Football League in sacks during the 2010 season.

Tamba Hali was the 20th overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft and led the AFC in sacks during the 2010 NFL season helping the Kansas City Chiefs reach the playoffs. He played Defensive End during his college career.

Paul Posluszny played from 2003–2006. Posluszny won the Dick Butkus Award in 2005 and the Chuck Bednarik Award in 2005 and 2006. He finished with 372 tackles, and was drafted by the Buffalo Bills.

Dan Connor finished his career as the all-time leading tackler for Penn State with 419 and was drafted by the Carolina Panthers.

Sean Lee, graduating Penn State in 2009, is now starting inside linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys.

NaVorro Bowman, drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the third round of the 2010 draft, ranked 7th in the league in tackles in 2011 and was named an AP first team All-Pro for his 2011 campaign.

Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges were "Co-Linebacker U" in 2012, both achieved over 95 tackles.

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