Thirty Former Nittany Lions on 2007 NFL Rosters
Sept. 27, 2007
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; - Penn State football alumni again comprise a large portion of National Football League rosters.
There were 30 former Nittany Lions on 2007 opening week rosters, again placing Penn State among the top 15 schools in the nation in producing current NFL players. Twenty-six Penn Staters were on active rosters and four were on practice squads.
Six players from Penn State's 2006 squad are NFL rookies: Jay Alford (New York Giants), Levi Brown (Arizona), Tony Hunt (Philadelphia), Ed Johnson (Indianapolis), Paul Posluszny (Buffalo) and Tim Shaw (Carolina). Posluszny was placed on injured reserve this week after breaking his arm last Sunday against the New England Patriots.
Former Nittany Lions are spread out over 17 teams. The 2006 NFC Champion Chicago Bears and the AFC;'s Kansas City Chiefs have the services of a league-high three former Nittany Lions. Defensive tackle Anthony Adams, tight end John Gilmore and 2006 All-Pro kicker Robbie Gould play for the Bears, while wide receiver Eddie Drummond, defensive end Tamba Hali and All-Pro running back Larry Johnson are with the Chiefs.
Tight end Kyle Brady (New England) and quarterback Kerry Collins (Tennessee) lead the former Lions in NFL experience, in their 13th seasons. Wide receiver Bobby Engram (Seattle) is in 12th season in the NFL All three were All-Americans on Penn State's 12-0 Big Ten Championship squad in 1994.
Four former Nittany Lions were on opening week practice squads: defensive tackle Scott Paxson (Pittsburgh), defensive back Anwar Phillips (New Orleans), guard Tyler Reed (Chicago) and tight end Isaac Smolko (Jaacksonville).
More than 300 Nittany Lions have signed NFL contracts since Joe Paterno became head coach in 1966. The legendary coach has seen 232 of his players drafted by NFL squads.
Thirty-one Nittany Lions have been NFL first round draft choices since 1966, including tackle Levi Brown (Arizona), who was the No. 5 overall pick in 2007. A school record four Nittany Lions were selected in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft and Penn State led all schools with six picks in the first 57 selections.
Penn State has had at least one alumnus on a Super Bowl team in 37 of 41 title games, including Chicago's John Gilmore and Robbie Gould in Super Bowl XLI. Twenty-eight former Nittany Lions have earned a total of 44 Super Bowl rings.
Former Nittany Lions on 2007 NFL rosters (pro season in parenthesis):
Arizona Cardinals - Levi Brown (1), Bryant Johnson (5)