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April 29, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Oakland Raiders selected Penn State guard/center Stefen Wisniewski (Bridgeville) Friday night in the second round of the National Football League Draft.
Wisniewski was the No. 48 overall selection in the draft. He is joining the team where his uncle, Steve Wisniewski, earned eight Pro Bowl selections during a standout career from 1989-2001. A two-time All-American at Penn State, Steve Wisniewski is in his first season as the Raiders' Assistant Offensive Line coach.
Leo Wisniewski, Stefen's father, was a second round draft choice in 1982 by Baltimore Colts, playing three seasons in the NFL, after a stellar Penn State career.
With Wisniewski's selection, 246 Nittany Lions have been drafted under Hall of Fame Coach Joe Paterno, including 33 first round draft choices. The Miami Dolphins selected All-America defensive tackle Jared Odrick in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft. More than 350 Nittany Lions have signed NFL contracts under Paterno's tutelage.
The 6-3, 306-pound Wisniewski becomes the 13th Nittany Lion since 2006 to be selected in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft. A total of 25 Penn State football student-athletes have been drafted over the past five years.
Wisniewski is the first Nittany Lion to be selected by the Raiders since linebacker Rob Holmberg was a seventh round choice in 1994.
There are 32 former Nittany Lions on NFL active rosters, placing Penn State in the top 12 nationally among schools in producing current NFL players.
Wisniewski is among the most distinguished Penn State Football student-athletes in the program's 124-year history. He is the first Nittany Lion Football student-athlete to be selected a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-American®, earning first team honors from 2009 and 2010. He finished second in balloting for the 2010 Academic All-American® of the Year in college football. Wisniewski finished with a 3.90 cumulative grade point average, earning his degree in secondary education this past December.
Wisniewski gained six All-America recognitions following the 2010 season, earning first-team honors from the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and Scout.com He also was selected an Associated Press second-team All-American, joining previous second-team accolades from the Walter Camp Football Foundation, CBSsports.com and Rivals.com.
A starter in 38 of the last 39 games of his stellar career, Wisniewski earned first-team All-Big Ten accolades in 2009 and 2010. The former Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School standout became the first Nittany Lion to earn first team All-America and Academic All-America® accolades in the same season since another former Western Pennsylvania standout, linebacker Paul Posluszny (2005 and '06).
Super Bowl XLV marked the 40th time in the Super Bowl's 45-game history that at least one Penn State alumnus was a member of one of the participating teams. Rookie tight end Andrew Quarless and safeties coach Darren Perry became the latest Nittany Lion alumni to earn a Super Bowl ring, with the Green Bay Packers' victory over Pittsburgh.
Since the start of the 2005 season, Penn State has earned a 58-19 (75.3) record, tied with Oregon for No. 12 in the nation. Over the past six years, the Nittany Lions have won two Big Ten Championships, won four bowl games and played in five New Year's or Bowl Championship Series (BCS) games, the nation's third-highest total.
The Nittany Lions return 15 starters for the 2011 season, (7 offense, 7 defense, 1 specialist), as well as 17 players that have starting experience. Penn State opens its 125th season Sept. 3 vs. Indiana State in Beaver Stadium and Alabama visits Happy Valley on Sept. 10 for the first time since 1989.
The second and third rounds of the NFL are tonight. Rounds 4-7 of the draft are Saturday starting at 12:00 p.m.