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April 30, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., April 30, 2011 - The Washington Redskins today selected Evan Royster (Fairfax, Va.), Penn State's career rushing yardage leader in the sixth round of the National Football League Draft.
A three-time All-Big Ten selection, Royster joins All-America Stefen Wisniewski as Nittany Lions selected in the 2011 NFL Draft. Wisniewski was the No. 48 overall pick by the Oakland Raiders. Royster and Wisniewski became Penn State's seventh and eighth three-time All-Big Ten honorees last fall.
Rosyter has already made his debut in the Redskins' FedEx Field, having helped Penn State earn a 41-24 win there over Indiana on Nov. 20, 2010. The former All-Met selection ran for 48 yards on 16 carries, with a two-yard touchdown, and gained 38 yards on two receptions in the win over the Hoosiers.
With Royster's selection, 247 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.
A total of 26 Penn State football student-athletes have been drafted since 2006, including 13 in the first three rounds.
Royster is the first Nittany Lion to be selected by the Redskins since All-America linebacker LaVar Arrington was the No. 2 overall choice in the 2000 Draft. Arrington was an All-Pro with the Redskins. Royster is the first Penn State running back selected in NFL draft since Tony Hunt was a third round choice by Philadelphia in 2007.
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.
A 2009 first-team all-conference honoree, Royster became Penn State's career rushing leader during the 2010 campaign, finishing his outstanding career with 3,932 yards. The previous mark was 3,398 yards by Curt Warner (1979-82). A three-year starter, Royster gained 98 yards against Florida in the 2011 Outback Bowl to become the first Nittany Lion with three 1,000-yard rushing seasons, gaining 1,014 yards and six touchdowns, along with 25 receptions for 202 yards and a touchdown, this past season.
The former Westfield High School fooball and lacrosse standout posted 15 career 100-yard rushing games, topped by 187 yards vs. Temple this past season, and the Nittany Lions were 15-0 when he cracked the century mark. Royster scored 29 career rushing touchdowns, with both marks tied for fifth in school history. His 686 career rushing attempts also are a Penn State record.
Royster earned his degree in management information systems.
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.