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Eight Lions Invited to NFL Combine

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Feb. 6, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - Eight Penn State football players -- DB Marcus Allen, DB Troy Apke, RB Saquon Barkley, LB Jason Cabinda, DB Christian Campbell, TE Mike Gesicki, DB Grant Haley, WR DaeSean Hamilton -- will participate in the 2018 NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

The eight invitees are the most for Penn State since 2009 when Deon Butler, Gerald Cadogan, Maurice Evans, Aaron Maybin, Jordan Norwood, Lydell Sargeant, A.Q. Shipley and Derrick Williams participated. The eight Nittany Lions in the 2018 Combine are the seventh-most in FBS and are second among Big Ten schools.

The 2018 NFL Scouting Combine is set for Feb. 27-March 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The NFL Network and NFL.com will have coverage of the Scouting Combine. The 2018 NFL Draft is set for April 26-28 in Arlington, Texas.

The Combine on-field workout schedule: running backs, offensive line, kickers and special teams Friday, March 2; quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends Saturday, March 3; defensive linemen and linebackers Sunday, March 4 and defensive backs Monday, March 5.

Troy Apke, S, 6-1, 198, Mt. Lebanon, Pa./Mount Lebanon

  • Honorable-mention All-Big Ten by the media.
  • Was fourth on the team with 55 tackles.
  • Earned Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week honors on Sept. 12 after collecting an interception and five tackles vs. Pittsburgh. 
  • Blocked his first career kick on a field goal attempt in the fourth quarter at Iowa.
  • Notched a career-high eight tackles, including six solo, at Ohio State.
  • Tied his career high with eight tackles, including five solo, and added one pass breakup and one quarterback hurry at Michigan State.

Marcus Allen, S, 6-2, 207, Upper Marlboro, Md./Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr.

  • First-team all-conference selection by the coaches and second-team All-Big Ten choice by the media.
  • Second on the team with 72 tackles and tied for the team lead with two forced fumbles.
  • Was No. 24 among active FBS defenders with 321 career tackles.
  • Is just the sixth Nittany Lion to reach the 300-tackle mark in a career.
  • Ranked No. 5 on Penn State's career tackles chart with 321 stops, trailing Brian Gelzheiser (315; 1991-94) for No. 5.
  • Had nine career double-digit tackle games in his career (two in 2014, two in 2015, three in 2016, two in 2017).
  • Named a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, along with teammate Grant Haley.
  • Selected as a quarterfinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, along with teammate Jason Cabinda.
  • Earned the Lott IMPACT Trophy Player of the Week on Sept. 12 after piling up 13 tackles vs. Pittsburgh.
  • Named to the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award weekly honor roll on Sept. 13 for his efforts vs. Pittsburgh.
  • Earned Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week following his effort vs. Indiana (9/30).

Saquon Barkley, RB, 5-11, 230, Coplay, Pa./Whitehall

  • 2017 unanimous NCAA Consensus All-American
    • Is the 42nd Consensus All-American in program history.
    • Is the 14th unanimously-selected Consensus All-American in program history.
  • 2017 All-America first team selection
    • AFCA first-team running back, Sporting News first-team athlete, Associated Press first-team all-purpose, Football Writers Association of America first-team all-purpose and Walter Camp first-team running back.
    • Is the 100th first-team All-American in Penn State history.
  • 2017 Paul Hornung Award winner (most versatile player in college football)
  • Finished fourth in the 2017 Heisman Trophy voting
  • Earned All-America honors from Sports Illustrated (1st team all-purpose; 2nd team running back), The Athletic (1st team all-purpose), SB Nation (1st team running back; honorable mention kick returner), USA Today (2nd team running back) and College Sports Madness (1st team running back; 2nd team kick returner).
  • 2017 Chicago Tribune Silver Football winner (best player in the Big Ten)
    • Is the fifth player since the award's inception in 1924 to claim the honor twice, joining the elite list of Minnesota's Paul Giel (1952-53), Ohio State's Archie Griffin (1973-74), Indiana's Anthony Thompson (1988-89) and Ohio State's Braxton Miller (2012-13).
  • Selected as a finalist for the Maxwell Award, Doak Walker Award, Lombardi Award and Walter Camp Player of the Year Award.
  • Is the second player in conference history to win three Big Ten Conference major awards, joining Michigan's Jabrill Peppers (Defensive Player of the Year, Linebacker of the Year, Return Specialist of the Year) in 2016.
  • 2017 Graham-George Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year.
  • 2017 Ameche-Dayne Big Ten Running Back of the Year.
  • 2017 Rodgers-Dwight Big Ten Return Specialist of the Year.
  • First-team all-conference running back (coaches & media).
  • First-team All-Big Ten return specialist (coaches & media).
  • Named Associated Press Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and All-Big Ten first team, as well as Pro Football Focus All-Big Ten first team.
  • Is 1-of-5 student-athlete in the FBS with four all-purpose plays of 80 yards or longer in 2017.
  • Ranked No. 2 in the FBS and leads the Big Ten in all-purpose yards (179.15).
  • Ranked No. 5 nationally and leads the Big Ten in kickoff return touchdowns (2).
  • Is the 24th FBS player to produce 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in a season since 2000.
  • Was tied for No. 4 nationally and leads the Big Ten lead in total touchdowns (23).
  • Was tied for No. 5 nationally and leads the Big Ten in scoring per game (10.6).
  • Ranked No. 9 in the FBS and leads the Big Ten in rushing touchdowns (18).
  • Owns nine games with 200-plus all-purpose yards in his career (four in 2016, five in 2017).
  • His six Player of the Week honors in 2017 (four offensive, two special teams) are the most in a single season in Big Ten history.
  • Ranks No. 2 on the single season all-purpose yards list with 2,329 yards in 2017, just the second player in program history to eclipse the 2,000 all-purpose yard mark (Larry Johnson, 2,655; 2002).
  • Set the single game all-purpose yards mark with 358 at Iowa (9/23/17), accounting for 211 yards rushing, 94 yards receiving and 53 yards on kickoff return, topping Curt Warner's previous mark of 341 vs. Syracuse in 1981.

Jason Cabinda, LB, 6-1, 234, Flemington, N.J./Hunterdon Central

  • All-Big Ten second team selection by the coaches and honorable mention pick by the media.
  • Led the team with 88 tackles.
  • Had two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
  • Finished his career tied for eighth on Penn State's career tackles chart with 287 stops.
  • Ranked tied for 19th in the Big Ten in tackles per game (7.0).
  • Had nine career double-digit tackle games (three in 2015, three in 2016, three in 2017).
  • Earned Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week (Bachie, MSU) and Lott IMPACT Trophy Player of the Week after 12 tackles, a half-sack and a forced fumble vs. Michigan (10/21).
  • Selected as a quarterfinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy.
  • Was the Lott IMPACT Trophy Player of the Week on Oct. 2 after producing a career-high-tying 14 tackles vs. Indiana.
  • Earned Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week following his effort vs. Indiana (9/30).
  • Made a career-high-tying 14 tackles (Army, 2015) against Indiana, including six solo tackles, one sack and 1.5 tackles for loss.

Christian Campbell, CB, 6-1, 194, Phenix City, Ala./Central

  • Honorable-mention all-conference by coaches and media.
  • Led the team with 12 pass breakups.
  • Ranked seventh on the team with 45 tackles.
  • Had at least one pass breakup in seven-straight games from the 2017 Rose Bowl to Northwestern.
  • Registered four tackles, including three solo, and two pass breakups against Pitt.
  • Tallied four tackles, one pass breakup and forced the first fumble of the game, which was recovered by Jason Cabinda, against Indiana.
  • Made four tackles and hauled in his first interception of the season to end the first half at Northwestern.
  • Made a highlight defensive play on a strip-sack of John O'Korn in the fourth quarter against Michigan.
  • Tied his career high with six stops at Ohio State.

Mike Gesicki, TE/H, 6-6, 250, Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional

  • 2017 Sporting News second-team All-American.
  • First-team all-conference selection by the media and second-team All-Big Ten choice by the coaches.
  • Selected as one of three finalists for the Mackey Award for National Tight End of the Year.
  • Named second-team All-America by SB Nation and third-team All-America by College Sports Madness.
  • Ranked fourth among FBS tight ends in touchdown receptions (9).
  • Ranked fifth among FBS tight ends in yards (563).
  • Ranked third among FBS tight ends in receptions (57).
  • Had at least one reception in 27-straight games to end his career.
  • Of his 57 catches this season, 37 of them went for a first down or a touchdown.
  • Set the Penn State career receptions record for tight ends with his final catch vs. Pittsburgh, eclipsing Andrew Quarless' 87 grabs from 2006-09.
  • Surpassed Ted Kwalick's 1,343 yards from 1966-68 for the most receiving yards by a tight end vs. Nebraska and has 1,419 yards in his career.
  • Finished No. 9 on the career receptions charts with 129 grabs.
  • Finished No. 17 on Penn State's career receiving yards chart with 1,481 yards.
  • Became the 29th Penn State pass catcher to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards vs. Pittsburgh.
  • Had 13 career touchdown receptions, moving past Jesse James (11; 2012-14) for the school record for a tight end.
  • Owns the Penn State single season record for touchdown catches for a tight end with seven in 2017.
  • Owns the single-season record for receptions by a tight end with 48 in 2016, passing Andrew Quarless (41; 2009), and yardage by a tight end at 679 in 2016, besting Mickey Shuler's single-season record of 600 receiving yards (1977).

Grant Haley, CB, 5-9, 190, Atlanta, Ga./The Lovett School

  • Honorable-mention all-conference by coaches and media.
  • Was second on the squad with 10 pass breakups.
  • Ranked eighth on the team with 40 tackles.
  • Finished his career with 23 pass breakups, which is in the top 20 in program history.
  • Named a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, along with teammate Marcus Allen.
    Earned Midseason All-America honors from The All-American and USA Today.
  • Namedto the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week on Sept. 12 after grabbing his first interception of the season vs. Pittsburgh.
  • Earned Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week following his effort vs. Indiana (9/30).
  • Garnered a spot on the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week on Oct. 10 after a three-tackle, three-pass breakup effort at Northwestern.

DaeSean Hamilton, WR, 6-1, 206, Fredericksburg, Va./Mountain View

  • Second-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and third-team all-conference by the media.
  • Is Penn State's all-time leader in receptions (214), passing Deon Butler's former mark of 179 against Indiana (9/30/17).
  • Ranks No. 2 on Penn State's all-time receiving yardage list (2,842).
  • Is the ninth player in Penn State history to eclipse the 2,000-yard receiving mark.
  • Had 21 career games with five-plus receptions (nine in 2014, five in 2015, two in 2016, five in 2017).
  • Tied for No. 3 all-time at Penn State with nine 100-yard receiving games (four in 2014, one in 2016, four in 2017).
  • Ranks tied for No. 4 on Penn State's career receiving touchdowns charts with 18 scoring grabs.
  • Ranked tied for No. 25 in the FBS and No. 3 in the Big Ten in receiving touchdowns (9).
  • Ranked No. 68 in the FBS and No. 5 in the Big Ten in yards per reception (16.17).
  • Was No. 67 nationally and No. 6 in the Big Ten in receiving yards per game (65.9).

Penn State season ticket renewals and Nittany Lion Club membership renewals also are underway for the 2018 Penn State Football season presented by PSECU. The ticket invoice and Nittany Lion Club renewal deadline is Feb. 1, 2018. For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing new 2018 season tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit www.PSUnrivaled.com, call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office weekdays from 10 a.m-6 p.m.

More than 3,500 new season tickets have already been sold for the 2018 campaign.


 

 

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