Posts tagged ‘NFL’

For Tamba Hali and Cameron Wake, Sacks = Success

This story is a few days old, but I’m posting it today for a couple of reasons — the first is that it’s just a really compelling read. The second is because Tamba Hali ’06 is keeping himself newsworthy. In a good way.

Hali (left) built his reputation at Penn State as a playmaking defensive end, ultimately starring on the Nittany Lions’ 2005 Orange Bowl-winning team. He’s in his fifth season with the Kansas City Chiefs, where he’s become one of the best defensive players in the NFL. More compelling than his on-field play is his backstory, a tale of surviving childhood in war-torn Liberia and never losing the perspective that experience gave him. This Kansas City Star feature does a great job conveying Hali’s focus and determination — including a great bit about how, when his NFL workouts haven’t been sufficiently challenging or intense, he comes back to Penn State to get serious about working hard.

That work has paid off, as Hali goes into this weekend’s games with 11 sacks, putting him among the league leaders. As USA Today notes, that production makes Hali a candidate for NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Also among the top handful of candidates? Cameron Wake ’04, who has a league-high 14 sacks for the Miami Dolphins. Like Hali, Wake took an unlikely path to NFL stardom. Like Hali, he has emerged as one of the best in the game.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

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December 16, 2010 at 6:42 pm Leave a comment

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