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Jan. 16, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Three more Penn State football student-athletes have accepted invitations to play in a pair of all-star games this week, bringing to 10 the number of 2011 seniors playing in the post-season.
Safety Nick Sukay (Mount Pleasant) has been invited to play in the 87th East-West Shrine Game benefitting Shriners Hospitals for Children. The game is Saturday. Jan. 21 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. NFL Network will televise with a 4:00 p.m. ET kick. Former NFL and college head coach Bobby Ross will coach Sukay and the East squad.
Kick snapper Jon Rohrbaugh (Ellicott City, Md.) and tight end Andrew Szczerba (Wilmington, Del.) have been invited to play in the Astroturf NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. The contest also is Jan. 21 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA and will kick at 3:00 p.m. PT. Former Super Bowl-winning head coaches Tom Flores and Dick Vermeil are serving as head coaches for the game.
Sukay finished his Nittany Lion career with a strong senior season. A three-year starter at free safety, his 32 career starts were tied for fifth on the team despite missing the final seven games of the 2010 season with an injury. Sukay was named ESPN.com first-team All-Big Ten and earned second-team all-conference honors from the media and coaches. He was fifth on the team with 66 tackles and led the Nittany Lions with three interceptions and eight pass break-ups (tied with D'Anton Lynn). Sukay's 11 passes defended were tied for the Big Ten lead. The former Greensburg Central Catholic High School standout also forced a fumble, made two fumble recoveries and had 0.5 tackles for loss. Sukay made eight career interceptions. He graduated in May, 2011 and earned Academic All-Big Ten honors this past fall.
Safety and co-captain Drew Astorino (Edinboro), tackle and co-captain Quinn Barham (Durham, N.C.) and tailback Stephfon Green (Bronx, N.Y.) are scheduled to play in tonight's Casino Del Sol All-Star Game in Tucson, Ariz. Sponsored by the Tucson Padres Class AAA baseball franchise, the game kicks at 6:00 p.m. MT. The trio of Nittany Lions will play on the Stars Team, coached by former Arkansas and Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt.
Fox Sports Arizona will televise the contest.
Defensive end Jack Crawford (Longport, N.J.), cornerback D'Anton Lynn (Celina, Texas), All-America defensive tackle Devon Still (Wilmington, Del.) and guard Johnnie Troutman (Brown Mills, N.J.) are scheduled to play on the North squad in the 63rd Annual Senior Bowl. The Jan. 28 contest will kick off at 4:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. CT and air on NFL Network from Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala.
The quartet of Nittany Lions playing in the Senior Bowl is Penn State's highest number of participants in the contest since five in the 2003 Senior Bowl. Three of the five were NFL first round draft choices that spring (Michael Haynes, Bryant Johnson and Larry Johnson).
Thirty-three former Nittany Lions were on 2011 NFL rosters, among the top 15 totals of all colleges and universities. Seven former Penn State standouts were on the rosters of the final eight 2011-12 NFL playoff teams, with four on the teams playing in the AFC and NFC Championship games.
A total of 325 Penn State football student-athletes have been drafted by NFL teams, including 10 first round draft choices in the past 11 years. A total of 26 Nittany Lions have been drafted since 2006, including 13 in the first three rounds.
Penn State has had at least one alumnus on a Super Bowl team in 40 of 45 title games, including during the 2010 season when Andrew Quarless won an NFL title in his rookie season with the Green Bay Packers. Thirty-three former Nittany Lions have earned a total of 49 Super Bowl rings.