Nittany Lions Featured on Sports Illustrated Cover
Aug. 11, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State football team graces the cover of the August 17 issue of Sports Illustrated, with a photo of senior quarterback Daryll Clark (Youngstown, Ohio) and junior center Stefen Wisniewski (Bridgeville).
The Nittany Lions are one of four regional covers for SI's College Football Preview issue, which will be available on newsstands later this week. Mississippi, Oklahoma State and Oregon are the other schools featured on the regional covers. The issue with the Penn State cover will be distributed throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Upper Midwest.
Sports Illustrated ranks Penn State No. 14 in its pre-season Top 20 and predicts the Nittany Lions will make their third Bowl Championship Series appearance in the past five years, facing Virginia Tech in the FedEx Orange Bowl.
Penn State is making its 13th appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated during Coach Joe Paterno's legendary career, which includes being pictured for his selection as SI's Sportsman of the Year in 1986.
The last time the Nittany Lions appeared on the SI cover came in November 2005, when Paterno and All-America linebacker Paul Posluszny were featured after Penn State claimed the Big Ten Championship en route to a win in the 2006 FedEx Orange Bowl and an 11-1 record.
The Nittany Lions have graced the Sports Illustrated cover in relation to the nation's top ranking seven times, including Freddie Scott (1994), Joe Jurevicius (1997) and LaVar Arrington (1999) during the Big Ten era.
Among the other Penn State SI covers in relation to No. 1 were quarterback Chuck Fusina in 1978 and wide receiver Gregg Garrity, pictured after his diving touchdown catch in the 1983 Sugar Bowl that lifted Penn State to its first national championship.
Among the other Penn State personalities that have been featured on Sports Illustrated's cover are defensive back Darren Perry after the 1990 defeat of No. 1 Notre Dame and quarterback Todd Blackledge after the last second victory over Nebraska in en route to the 1982 national championship.
In addition, former Nittany Lion standout Franco Harris was a Sports Illustrated cover subject four times during his Hall of Fame career with the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers.
Fans will be able to purchase a reproduction of this week's SI cover and other covers featuring Penn State by going to: www.sicovers.com.
Paterno's squad returns 37 letterwinners and 10 starters for his 44th season as head coach and 60th year on the Penn State coaching staff. Pre-season camp began Monday for the No. 8 Nittany Lions, with the season opener on Sept. 5 against Akron at 12:00 p.m. The contest will air on the Big Ten Network, the Penn State Sports Network and www.GoPSUsports.com. The Big Ten Network will televise the Nittany Lions' first three games (Akron, Syracuse and Temple) at 12:00 p.m. from Beaver Stadium and at least one conference game this season.
Penn State has earned one of the nation's Top 10 records since the start of the 2005 season, posting a 40-11 (78.4) mark, good for No. 9 nationally.