We Are… “Linebacker U”? It Sure Looks That Way

September 29, 2011 at 4:08 pm Leave a comment

It’s not that Penn State ever stopped producing great linebackers, but enough other schools have turned out really good ones in recent years that some fans and media observers have tried to reassign the Lions’ unofficial title of “Linebacker U.”

Well, enough of that.

On Wednesday, Dallas Cowboys’ second-year linebacker Sean Lee ’09 was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Month. Through three games, Lee—who wasn’t guaranteed to be a starter this season—was the NFL’s second-leading tackler. Fourth on that list? Another second-year linebacker, Navorro Bowman ’09 of the San Francisco 49ers. This after a 2010 season in which two of the league’s top-three sack leaders were linebackers Tamba Hali ’06 of the Kansas City Chiefs and Cameron (formerly Derek) Wake ’04 of the Miami Dolphins. (In fairness, Hali played defensive end in college, and Wake was something of a “tweener” between ‘backer and end while at Penn State.) And the NFL’s third-leading tackler last season? That was linebacker Paul Posluszny ’06, now of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

There are a couple more linebackers among the 31 ex-Nittany Lions on current NFL rosters. You can keep up with all of them with weekly updates on gopsusports.com.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

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