University Park, Pa. — A total of 39 Penn State football alumni are populating the rosters of 22 NFL teams as training camps begin league-wide.
The Buffalo Bills once again feature a league-high four former Nittany Lions on its roster, including veterans Bryan Scott and Paul Posluszny and second-year players Aaron Maybin and Lydell Sargeant. Three NFL teams, the Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins, and New York Giants, each have three Penn Staters on their rosters.
Eight players from Penn State's 2009 Capital One Bowl champion team are vying to make NFL squads as rookies: Navorro Bowman (San Francisco 49ers), Josh Hull (St. Louis Rams), Dennis Landolt (New York Giants), Sean Lee (Dallas Cowboys), Jared Odrick (Miami Dolphins), Andrew Quarless (Green Bay Packers), Mickey Shuler (Minnesota Vikings), and A.J. Wallace (Miami Dolphins).
Tennessee quarterback Kerry Collins, who is entering his 16th season, tops the former Lions in NFL seniority. He ranks third among active signal callers in yards (38,618) and completions (3,279). Receiver Bobby Engram, who signed a free agent contract with the Cleveland Browns in the offseason, is in his 15th season. He has registered 650 career receptions, good enough for 13th among active players, for 7,751 receiving yards and 35 touchdowns. Collins and Engram were first team All-Americans on Penn State's 12-0 Big Ten Championship squad in 1994.
More than 360 Nittany Lions have signed NFL contracts since Joe Paterno became head coach in 1966. The Hall of Fame coach has seen 275 of his players drafted by NFL squads.
Thirty-six Nittany Lions have been NFL first round draft choices since 1966, including defensive tackle Jared Odrick, whom the Miami Dolphins selected with the No. 28 overall pick in 2009. A school record four Nittany Lions were selected in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft.
Penn State has had at least one alumnus on a Super Bowl team in 39 of 44 title games. Thirty-two former Nittany Lions have earned a total of 48 Super Bowl rings.
Nine former Nittany Lions will also be patrolling the sidelines as part of NFL coaching staffs when training camps kickoff. They include Gary Brown (Cleveland Browns), Sam Gash (Detroit Lions), Ron Heller (Miami Dolphins), Mike Munchak (Tennessee Titans), John McNulty (Arizona Cardinals), Jeff Nixon (Philadelphia Eagles), Paul Pasqualoni (Dallas Cowboys), Darren Perry (Green Bay Packers), and Michael Zordich (Philadelphia Eagles). Former six-year Penn State assistant Jim Caldwell is entering his second season as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts after leading the franchise to Super Bowl XLIV in his first year.
Former Nittany Lions in 2010 NFL training camps (pro season in parentheses):
Arizona Cardinals - Levi Brown (4)
Buffalo Bills - Aaron Maybin (2), Paul Posluszny (4), Lydell Sargeant (2), Bryan Scott (8)
Carolina Panthers - Dan Connor (3), Ed Johnson (3)
Chicago Bears - Anthony Adams (8), Robbie Gould (6), Tim Shaw (4)
Cleveland Browns - Bobby Engram (14)
Dallas Cowboys - Sean Lee (1)
Detroit Lions - Bryant Johnson (8), Derrick Williams (2)
Green Bay Packers - Andrew Quarless (1)
Indianapolis Colts - Gerald Cadogan (1)
Kansas City Chiefs - Tamba Hali (5)
Miami Dolphins - Jared Odrick (1), Cameron Wake (2), A.J. Wallace (1)
Minnesota Vikings - Jimmy Kennedy (8), Mickey Shuler (1)
New England Patriots - Rich Ohrnberger (2)
New York Giants - Jay Alford (4), Dennis Landolt (1), Kareem McKenzie (10)
Oakland Raiders - Tony Stewart (10)
Philadelphia Eagles - Jordan Norwood (1), A.Q. Shipley (2)
Pittsburgh Steelers - Sean McHugh (6), Scott Paxson (3)
San Francisco 49ers - Navorro Bowman (1), Michael Robinson (5)
Seattle Seahawks - Deon Butler (2)
St. Louis Rams - Josh Hull (1), Justin King (3)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - John Gilmore (10)
Tennessee Titans - Kerry Collins (16)
Washington Redskins - Larry Johnson (8)