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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Twenty-nine Penn State players were on the rosters of 21 National Football League (NFL) teams as the NFL season opens. The Nittany Lions are perennially a top-15 program in producing players in the NFL. A total of 25 players on 53-man rosters, the Nittany Lions have four former players on practice squads. In addition, there are two Nittany Lions on NFL rosters that did not play football at Penn State in Chris Hogan (New England) and Ross Travis (Kansas City).
Additionally, Linebacker U alums Sean Lee and Paul Posluszny were selected as team captains for the Cowboys and Jaguars, respectively. Lee was elected a team captain for the fifth-straight season, while Posluszny is a captain for the fourth time.
The Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers each boast three former Nittany Lions on their opening day roster. The Dolphins lay claim to nine-year veteran Cameron Wake, third-year pro Mike Hull and second-year player Jordan Lucas, who is on the practice squad, while 13th-year veteran Robbie Gould and fourth-year pro Garry Giliiam have joined eighth-year vet Navorro Bowman in San Francisco.
Four additional NFL squads lay claim to two former Nittany Lions on their opening week rosters: Detroit, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay and Tennessee.
Gould is the Lions elder statesman, and is followed by Chiefs All-Pro linebacker Tamba Hali in his 12th season, Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny (11th), Wake and Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee (9th). Lee and Wake were both Pro Bowlers in 2017.
Hogan, a wide receiver in his sixth NFL season, played lacrosse for the Nittany Lions and went to play football at Monmouth after earning his Penn State degree. Travis, a tight end in his second season, was a standout men's basketball player for the Nittany Lions.
Four players from Penn State's 2016 squad are on NFL rosters as rookies: Chris Godwin was drafted in the third round by Tampa Bay, while Brandon Bell (Cincinnati), Garrett Sickels (Indianapolis) and Evan Schwan (New York Giants) are all on practice squads.
Seven former Nittany Lions are patrolling the sidelines as part of NFL coaching staffs in 2017: Gary Brown (Dallas, running backs), Bobby Engram (Baltimore, wide receivers), Al Golden (Detroit, tight ends), D'Anton Lynn (LA Chargers, defensive assistant), John McNulty (LA Chargers, tight ends), Mike Munchak (Pittsburgh, offensive line), Darren Perry (Green Bay, safeties). Also, former Penn State quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell is in his fourth season as the head coach of the Detroit Lions.
The fourth-ranked Nittany Lions host Pitt for the first time since 1999 at 3:30 p.m. on ABC as part of a three-game non-conference home stand to open the season.
Single-game tickets for the 2017 Penn State football season presented by PSECU are available for five home games (Akron, Georgia State, Indiana, Rutgers, Nebraska). For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing new 2018 season tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit www.PSUnrivaled.com, call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office weekdays from 9 a.m-4:30 p.m. More than 9,000 new season tickets have been sold and the season ticket allotment for 2017 has been exhausted.
NFL Kickoff Week Roster (29)
Arizona Cardinals (1): A.Q. Shipley (8)
Atlanta Falcons (1): Jack Crawford (6)
Chicago Bears (1): Adrian Amos (3)
Cincinnati Bengals (1): Brandon Bell (1)
Cleveland Browns (1): Carl Nassib (2)
Dallas Cowboys (1): Sean Lee C (8)
Detroit Lions (2): Jordan Hill IR (5), Anthony Zettel (2)
Indianapolis Colts (1): Garrett Sickels (1)
Jacksonville Jaguars (2): Paul Posluszny C (11), Allen Robinson (4)
Kansas City Chiefs (1): Tamba Hali (12), Ross Travis (2; former MBB player)
Los Angeles Chargers (1): Trevor Williams (2)
Miami Dolphins (3): Mike Hull (3), Cameron Wake (9), Jordan Lucas (2)
Minnesota Vikings (1): Kyle Carter (2)
New England Patriots: Chris Hogan (5; former MLAX player)
New Orleans Saints (1): Nathan Stupar (6)
New York Giants (1): Evan Schwan IR (1)
New York Jets (1): Christian Hackenberg (2)
Philadelphia Eagles (1): Stefen Wisniewski (7)
Pittsburgh Steelers (1): Jesse James (3)
San Francisco 49ers (3): Navorro Bowman (8), Garry Gilliam (4), Robbie Gould (13)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2): Chris Godwin (1), Donovan Smith (3)
Tennessee Titans (2): Austin Johnson (2), DaQuan Jones (4)
italics indicates practice squad IR indicates injured reserve C indicates captain