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Sept. 14, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; - Penn State Football alumni again comprise a large portion of National Football League rosters.
There were 32 former Nittany Lions with NFL teams during the 2011 Season Kickoff week, again placing Penn State among the top 15 schools in the nation in producing current NFL players. Twenty-five Penn Staters were on active rosters, four were on practice squads and three were on Injured Reserve or the Physically Unable to Perform list.
Twenty-one NFL teams have at least one Penn Stater on their roster. The Miami Dolphins lead all teams with four former Nittany Lions: All-Pro RB Larry Johnson, DT Jared Odrick and All-Pro LB Cameron Wake, as well as rookie WR Brett Brackett on the practice squad.
The Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, New York Giants and St. Louis Rams all have two Penn Staters on their active rosters.
Quarterback Kerry Collins signed with the Indianapolis Colts in August to add a new chapter to his distinguished 17-year professional career. The 1994 Davey O'Brien Award winner, Collins (1995-present) and placekicker Matt Bahr (1979-95) are tied for the most years in the NFL (17) by a Nittany Lion.
New York Giants offensive tackle Kareem McKenzie is his 11th NFL season and New Orleans Saints' tight end John Gilmore is in his 10th season in the league. McKenzie has blocked for five NFL running backs that rushed for more than 1,000 yards in a season and won a Super Bowl ring in 2008.
Five seniors from the Penn State's 2010 team are on NFL rosters. First-team All-America guard Stefen Wisniewski was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the second round of the NFL Draft and started for the Raiders in their win at Denver on Monday. Brett Brackett (Miami), Ollie Ogbu (Indianapolis) and Evan Royster (Washington) are on practice squads and Lou Eliades (Raiders) is on the Injured Reserve list.
More than 360 Nittany Lions have signed NFL contracts under Paterno's tutelage. The Hall of Fame coach has seen 247 of his players drafted by NFL squads, including 33 first round draft choices. Miami selected All-America defensive tackle Jared Odrick in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Four Nittany Lions have been first round draft choices in the past six NFL drafts.
A total of 26 Penn State Football student-athletes have been drafted since 2006, including 13 in the first three rounds.
Penn State has had at least one alumnus on a Super Bowl team in 40 of 45 title games, including during the 2010 season when Andrew Quarless won an NFL title in his rookie season with the Green Bay Packers. Thirty-three former Nittany Lions have earned a total of 49 Super Bowl rings.
Former Nittany Lions on 2011 NFL rosters
(pro season in parentheses):
Arizona Cardinals - Levi Brown (5)
Buffalo Bills - Bryan Scott (9)
Carolina Panthers - Dan Connor (4)
Chicago Bears - Anthony Adams (9), Robbie Gould (7)
Cleveland Browns - Jordan Norwood (3), Scott Paxson (4)
Dallas Cowboys - Sean Lee (2)
Green Bay Packers - Andrew Quarless (2)
Houston Texans - Bryant Johnson (9)
Jacksonville Jaguars - Paul Posluszny (5)
Kansas City Chiefs - Tamba Hali (6)
New England Patriots - Rich Ohrnberger (3-I.R.)
New Orleans Saints - John Gilmore (10), Dennis Landolt (2-p.s.)
New York Giants - Jimmy Kennedy (9), Kareem McKenzie (11)
San Francisco 49ers - Navorro Bowman (2)
Seattle Seahawks - Michael Robinson (6), Deon Butler (3-P.U.P.)
Tennessee Titans - Tim Shaw (5)
Washington Redskins - Evan Royster (1-p.s.)
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