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Feb. 10, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., - Eight Penn State football student-athletes, tied for highest in the Big Ten Conference and third-highest in the nation, have been invited to participate in the National Football League's 2009 Scouting Combine.
The eight players were instrumental in helping the Nittany Lions win 40 games, two Big Ten Championships and three bowl games over the past four seasons. Penn State's 40-11 record the past four seasons is No. 8 in the nation.
Penn State and Ohio State have eight NFL Combine participants, tying Georgia and Oklahoma for the third-highest total among all colleges and universities. Southern California leads with 12 and LSU has 10.
Penn State All-Americans Aaron Maybin (DE, Ellicott City, Md.), A.Q. Shipley (C, Coraopolis) and Derrick Williams (WR/KR, Greenbelt, Md.) will participate in the Combine, which will be held Feb. 18-24 at the new Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. They will be joined by WR Deon Butler (Woodbridge, Va.), T Gerald Cadogan (Portsmouth, Ohio), DE Maurice Evans (Brooklyn, N.Y.), WR Jordan Norwood (State College) and CB-WR Lydell Sargeant (Lompoc, Calif.).
Five of the six Nittany Lions who played four years at Penn State have graduated: Cadogan (a two-time first team Academic All-American), Butler, Norwood, Shipley and Williams.
Seven Nittany Lions played in 2009 post-season all-star games: Williams (Senior Bowl), Butler (East-West Shrine Classic) and Cadogan, Norwood, Sargeant, Rich Ohrnberger and Anthony Scirrotto (Texas vs. Nation). Shipley was invited to the East-West game but declined, as Rimington Trophy ceremonies were held the same day.
The NFL Network (Ch. 275, Comcast Cable in the Centre Region) will have coverage of the Combine daily from Feb. 18-24.
The NFL Draft is April 25-26.
Ten former Nittany Lions playing in the National Football League were on 2008 playoff teams, with tight end Sean McHugh and defensive tackle Scott Paxson earning Super Bowl rings with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Former Penn State All-American Levi Brown started at right tackle for the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.
There are 29 former Nittany Lions on NFL rosters, placing Penn State in the top 12 nationally among schools in producing current NFL players.
More than 300 Nittany Lions have signed NFL contracts since Paterno became head coach in 1966. The Hall of Fame coach has seen 234 of his players drafted by NFL squads, including 34 first round draft choices, including Brown (2007) and defensive end Tamba Hali by Kansas City in 2006.