Thirty-eight Former Nittany Lions Remain in NFL Training Camps
Aug. 19, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A total of 38 Penn State football alumni are populating the rosters of 23 National Football League teams as training camps enter their fourth week and the league-wide exhibition season is underway.
The Buffalo Bills feature a league-high four former Nittany Lions on their roster, including veterans Bryan Scott and Paul Posluszny and first-year players Aaron Maybin and Lydell Sargeant. Five NFL teams have three Penn Staters on their rosters, highlighted by the defending Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers.
Eleven players from Penn State's 2008 Big Ten Championship team are vying to make NFL squads as rookies: Maybin, Sargeant, Gerald Cadogan (Carolina), Jordan Norwood (Cleveland), Derrick Williams (Detroit), Rich Ohrnberger (New England), Maurice Evans (New York Giants), Josh Gaines (Philadelphia), A.Q. Shipley (Pittsburgh), Deon Butler (Seattle) and Mark Rubin (St. Louis).
Tennessee quarterback Kerry Collins, who is entering his 15th season, tops the former Lions in NFL seniority. In 2008, he led the Titans to a 13-3 record and the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs. Receiver Bobby Engram, who signed a free agent
With as many two preseason games in the books, a number of former Nittany Lions have already made impressions, including three rookies. Lydell Sargeant recorded a game-securing interception in the Buffalo Bills' 27-20 win over Chicago last weekend. Derek Williams caught his first touchdown pass as a pro in the Detroit Lions' 27-26 victory over Atlanta, hauling in a 25-yard scoring toss from fellow rookie Matthew Stafford last Saturday. Maurice Evans helped the New York Giants claim a 24-17 win against Carolina, registering one tackle, a sack, and a forced fumble on Monday.
More than 350 Nittany Lions have signed NFL contracts since Joe Paterno became head coach in 1966. The Hall of Fame coach has seen 239 of his players drafted by NFL squads.
Thirty-two Nittany Lions have been NFL first round draft choices under Paterno, including defensive end Aaron Maybin, whom the Bills selected with the No. 11 overall pick this past April. A school record four Nittany Lions were selected in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft.
Penn State has had at least one alumnus on a Super Bowl team in 39 of 43 title games, including Sean McHugh and Scott Paxson with the Super Bowl XLIII Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. Thirty-two former Nittany Lions have earned a total of 48 Super Bowl rings.
Former Nittany Lions in 2009 NFL training camps (pro season in parentheses):
Arizona Cardinals - Levi Brown (3)