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April 26, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Two of the most prolific receivers in Penn State history were selected today in the third round of National Football League Draft.
The New England Patriots selected All-America guard Rich Ohrnberger (East Meadow, N.Y.) in the fourth round. In the seventh round, the Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers selected All-America center A.Q. Shipley, who hails from nearby Moon Township.
Five Penn Staters have been selected thus far in the 2009 NFL Draft. Defensive end Aaron Maybin (Ellicott City, Md.) was the No. 11 overall selection, going to the Buffalo Bills, and the first Big Ten Conference player to be drafted this year.
In Detroit, Williams will join former Nittany Lion wide receiver Bryant Johnson, who is in his first season with the Lions after playing with Arizona and San Francisco since 2003. Williams will join the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Ohrnberger is the lone Nittany Lions on the Patriots' roster after tight end Kyle Brady retired prior to the 2008 season after 13 years in the NFL.
In Pittsburgh, Shipley joins tight end Sean McHugh and defensive tackle Scott Paxson, as former Nittany Lions with the Steelers. Both earned Super Bowl rings during the 2008 season.
A 2008 first team All-Big Ten selection and co-captain, Williams earned Walter Camp and Sporting News second-team and Associated Press third-team All-America recognition last season. He further solidified his status as one of the nation's most explosive and dynamic weapons in 2008. He caught 44 passes for 485 yards and three touchdowns to move into third place on Penn State's career receptions list (161) and 10th in career receiving yards (1,743). The versatile Williams also ran for 243 yards and three touchdowns this past season.
Williams made an enormous impact on special teams throughout his career, returning two kickoffs and one punt for a touchdown in 2008, giving him five in total for his career, a Joe Paterno-era record. He ranks No. 5 in Penn State career all-purpose yardage with 4,516 yards. He returned 20 kickoffs for 515 yards, the fourth-highest yardage in school season history. The former Eleanor Roosevelt High School All-America was second in the Big Ten with his 25.8 yard kickoff return average. Penn State's career leader with 179 receptions, Butler finished his career leading or among the top 10 in numerous school game, season and career receiving lists, including:
Game Receptions (T 2nd, 11 vs. Northwestern, 2006)
Season Receptions (T 7th, 48 in 2006; T 10, 47 in 2007 and 2008)
Career Receptions (1st, 179)
Game Receiving Yardage (1st, 216 vs. Northwestern, 2006)
Career Receiving Yardage (2nd, 2,771)
Season Touchdown Receptions (T 4th, 9 in 2005)
Career Touchdown Receptions (3rd, 22)
Shipley was the recipient of the 2008 Rimington Trophy, presented to the nation's outstanding center. He was selected a first team All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), ESPN.com and CollegeFootballNews.com. The 2008 Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year, he also earned second team honors from the Associated Press and SI.com.
With the selection of the five players so far in the 2009 NFL Draft, 239 Nittany Lions have been drafted under Hall of Fame Coach Joe Paterno and more than 300 of his players have signed NFL contracts.
Check GoPSUsports.com later today for more NFL Draft updates on the Nittany Lions.