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May 10, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - A pair of Penn State's first-team All-Big Ten honorees, DaQuan Jones (Johnson City, N.Y.) and John Urschel (Williamsville, N.Y.) were selected Saturday on the final day of the 2014 National Football League Draft.
The Tennessee Titans selected Jones, a defensive tackle, in the fourth round. He was the No. 112 overall selection. The Baltimore Ravens tabbed Urschel, a guard, in the fifth round with the 175th overall selection.
Jones and Urschel joined All-America wide receiver Allen Robinson (Jacksonville, second round) as Penn State's 2014 NFL Draft choices. Jones and Urschel are the 35th and 36th Penn State football student-athletes to be drafted since 2006, including 16 in the first three rounds.
The Nittany Lions' three NFL Draft choices were tied for third-highest in the Big Ten.
Penn State has had at least three NFL Draft picks 16 times since starting Big Ten Conference competition in 1993. A total of 335 Nittany Lions have been selected all-time in the NFL Draft, including 36 in the first round.
With Jones' selection, 11 Penn State defensive linemen have been NFL Draft choices since 2003, including five in the first round. In five of the past six years, a Nittany Lion defensive lineman has been selected in the first four rounds of the NFL Draft.
A 2014 Senior Bowl and NFL Combine participant, Jones is the fourth Nittany Lion selected all-time by the Titans, who moved from Houston in 1997. Cornerback Rich Gardner and tight end Sean McHugh were selected by the Titans in 2004 and safety Calvin Lowry was drafted by Tennessee in 2006.
Jones led Penn State with 11.5 tackles for loss (minus-42 yards) and was earned the team's 2013 Outstanding Senior Player award. The former Johnson City Senior High School standout ranked fifth on the squad with 56 tackles (33 solo), recorded three sacks (minus-21) and had a fumble recovery. A starter in 23 games over the past two seasons, Jones led all Big Ten defensive tackles in stops during the 2013 season.
With Urschel's selection, five Penn State offensive linemen have been NFL Draft choices since 2009.
A 2014 East-West Shrine Game and NFL Combine participant, Urschel started all 24 games the past two seasons and was selected first-team All-Big Ten by the coaches for the second consecutive season. The former Canisius High School product joined Jeff Hartings (1993-95) and Stefen Wisniewski (2009-10) as the only Nittany Lion offensive linemen to earn multiple first-team All-Big Ten accolades.
A 2013 Associated Press third-team All-American, Urschel was instrumental in helping true freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg break 11 school freshman passing and total offense records and Zach Zwinak and Bill Belton combine to rush for 1,792 yards last season.
Urschel graduated with undergraduate and master's degrees in Math with a 4.0 grade-point average. A two-time Capital One/CoSIDA first-team Academic All-American, Urschel became the first Penn State player to earn the National Football Foundation's prestigious William V. Campbell Trophy, regarded as college football's academic Heisman Trophy, and claimed the Senior CLASS Award for college football. In April, Urschel was named the recipient of the prestigious AAU Sullivan Award, presented to the nation's top amateur athlete.
There were 26 former Nittany Lions with NFL teams at the end of the 2013 regular season, placing Penn State in the top 15 nationally among schools in producing current NFL players.
Super Bowl XLVIII marked the 43rd time in the NFL Championship contest's 48-game history that at least one Penn State alumnus was a member of one of the participating teams. Former Penn State standouts Jordan Hill and Michael Robinson helped capped off a dominant playoff run for Seattle with a victory in Super Bowl XLVIII when the Seahawks defeated the Denver Broncos. Thirty-seven former Nittany Lions have earned a total of 54 Super Bowl rings.
James Franklin was named Penn State's 16th head football coach on January 11. A product of Langhorne, Pa., Franklin led Vanderbilt University to unprecedented success the past three years as head coach, including consecutive nine-win seasons and bowl victories the past two years, as well as back-to-back Top 25 finishes, all for the first time in Vanderbilt history. In his 20th year of coaching, Franklin was a two-time All-PSAC quarterback at East Stroudsburg University.
More than 3,000 new season tickets have been sold for the 2014 campaign, including nearly 500 seats from the new Recent Graduate Ticket program for Penn State graduates from 2010-14. There again was no increase in season tickets prices for Penn State football for the upcoming season. New season tickets are available by calling 1-800-NITTANY, weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Penn State returns 41 letterwinners and 15 starters (7 offense, 7 defense, 1 specialist) for the upcoming season and will play a trio of 2013 Top 10 teams this fall. The Nittany Lions will host Rose Bowl Champion Michigan State (Nov. 29), Ohio State (Oct. 25, 8 p.m.), Northwestern (Sept. 27-Homecoming) and Maryland (Nov. 1) during its 2014 Big Ten home schedule. Penn State will host Akron (Sept. 6), UMass (Sept. 20) and Temple (Nov. 15) during its non-conference slate. The Nittany Lions open the season Aug. 30 vs. UCF in the Croke Park Classic in Dublin, Ireland.
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