Michael Robinson vs Craig Fayak
Michael Robinson, QB (2001 - 2005)
Joe Paterno told Robinson that he’d be a pro-bowl fullback one day... But Michael Robinson wanted to be a quarterback. Discipline issues early on led to some serious doghouse time, but, and perhaps because of this, Robinson emerged one of the greatest leaders in the history of the team. He played as back-up qb (& everything else) finally earning the starting job in 2005. The team was in the grasp of defeat, having registered 4 losing seasons out of the last 5 and his offense was stocked with young, untested freshmen (“the babies”). But Robinson refused to lose; metaphoric of his college career, he started the season a little shaky, but once into Big Ten play (that is, once into the 4th quarter of the Northwestern game), he lifted the team on his shoulders and led them to an 11 - 1 season. Oh, and last January, Robinson played in his first Pro-Bowl... as a fullback.
Craig Fayak, Kicker (1990-1993)
What will Craig Fayak always be remembered for? One kick. One kick against notre dame at south bend. Oh, and that was a riot.
OJ McDuffie vs The Nittany Lion
OJ McDuffie, WR, (1988-1992)
The stand-out player of the early '90s, McDuffie excelled on offense and special teams, finishing with 3723 total all-purpose yards. Selected in the first round of the 1993 NFL draft, OJ continued the (apparent) tradition of Penn State receivers playing for Florida pro teams, playing for the Miami Dolphins for 8 seasons.
The Nittany Lion (1904 - FOREVER)
Loyal and true. A legend, passed on from year to year; one that to which we pledge allegiance and always cherish dear. Of all the honored idols, it’s the one that stands the test. It is the Stately Nittany Lion and the symbol of our best.
LaVar Arrington v Duffy Cobbs
LaVar Arrington, LB (1997-1999)
A raw and explosive talent - that’s what LaVar Arrington possessed over so many others who have played the game. He had “linebacker spidey sense” of just knowing where the play was going and exactly how to attack it. Arrington went full-force, leaving it all on field. He will forever be remembered for him superhuman vertical reach and for his aptly awarded middle name “Leap.”
Duffy Cobbs, CB, 1982 - 1986
Cobbs red-shirted the year PSU won its first national championship (as did many of the men on its second). He was small, fast and solid. with an ability to read a play and execute for maximum impact. Without much fanfare, he and Ray Isom patrolled the secondary, pinpointing the angle of attack, and leaving opposing receivers with little more than the menacing echo of footsteps. Cobbs’ play in the National Championship game against Miami was, in a word, swarming - he defended, blitzed and “guessed right” all night.
Anthony Adams vs John Butler
Anthony Adams, DT (1999 - 2002)
This speaks for itself:
John Butler, Assistant Coach 2012 - Present
A Philadelphia kid who grew up with the Conlins (Keith, Chris, Kevin) and Craig Fitzgerald, Butler says that he always wanted to play at Penn State, but he was too small (& slow). He now has the opportunity coach for the Lions and is taking full advantage. PSU’s secondary was looking very thin and inexperienced; Butler took the challenge head-on and made the defensive backfield one of the most consistent and rounded parts of the team. His players say he’s intense, which is easily proven by watching him on the sidelines - an activity that isn’t hard on the eyes either.
Sean Lee v Kareem McKenzie
Sean Lee, LB (2005-2009)
Sean Lee came to Penn State in 2005. He was one of the few Pennsylvania “stars” to come to Penn State that year, and he made a quick and lasting impression. Despite the fact that he was competing to get on the field with the likes of Posluszny and Connor, Lee saw playing time as a true freshman. A brilliant student, of finance and football, Lee’s dedication and talent made him the embodiment of the term “student athlete.” Following the great (recent) tradition of PSU linebackers and knee surgery, Lee was on the sideline for his “first” senior year - but he served as a player/coach/motivator extraordinaire. His great play on the field has translated to his pro career, as he plays for the dallas cowboys.
Kareem McKenzie, OT (1997-2000)
McKenzie played on a line that helped create success for, arguably, PSU's less-than-best offensive offerings. Drafted by the Jets, McKenzie's greatest results came with the New York Giants; again, Kareem lifted, what you could call, a less-than-best offensive scheme, on his way to 2 Super Bowl rings. With free-agency looming, McKenzie announced this year that he plans to go back to school to earn an advanced degree in counseling - Yay! Penn State!
Evan Royster vs Bob White
Evan Royster, RB (2007-2011)
Evan Royster developed from a thrilling young runner into a utility back for Penn State. He showed bursts of talent early on, and became the cornerstone of the Lions' offense his junior and senior seasons. He tallied 3932 yards rushing, and 4502 all-purpose yards at PSU before being drafted by the Washington Redskins.
Bob White, DL (1982-1986)
Bob White has worked in and around PSU pretty much solid since graduation. He's earned a bachelors and masters degree from PSU; he's coached; he's worked with alumni; and, he currently heads up the Nittany Lion Club's fundraising division. And, apart from the fact that he was a great football player and on 2 championship teams, he is also the a party in one of the most hallowed stories/legends from PSU Football's history. The story goes that White's academics weren't quite up to PSU's standards (how wide the gap will vary, depending on the story teller); White himself has said that before coming to PSU, he didn't think he'd ever read a book, the whole way through. So Coach Paterno set up a tutoring schedule for Bob with Sue; it was a sort of multi-generational pre-cursor to the *book club*. White would read the assigned book(s) and write a report that he and Sue would then review and discuss. White attributes this mentoring to his success, and he is clearly a shining example of the Penn State Way.
Jack Ham vs Jordan Hill
Jack Ham, Linebacker (1967 - 1970)
Super Bowl Champion; Pro-Football Hall of Fame inductee; color commentator for the PSU Football. These are just a sample of the accomplishments of PSU linebacker, Jack Ham. Playing for 2 undefeated teams, Ham was at the very genesis of the Paterno Era. He played pro ball for the powerhouse Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s, where his hard-nosed attitude and pure talent made him one of the greatest to even line up on the defensive side of the ball. I'll admit, as a kid I was convinced that it was mandatory for Penn Staters to play for the Steelers, and that everyone on the Steelers was a Penn Stater.
Jordan Hill, DL (2009-2012)
Flanked by his teammates, Jordan Hill is one of the 2012 seniors that will never be forgotten. His loyalty to the school, coupled with his amazing play, was a key element to PSU's 2012 success. Due to injuries on the teams, Hill played as freshman, and contributed immediately. His future is bright, and he can rest assured that Penn Staters all over the world will be rooting for him, no matter what his endeavors.
Todd Blackledge vs Mother Dunn
Todd Blackledge, QB (1979 -1982)
The son of a coach, Blacklege led the Lions to their first championship following the 1982 season. As with most great teams, they showed glimpses early on, like reaching the #1 spot and thumping pitt in 1981, but the 1982 PSU squad was special - a grouping exceptionally talented, smart and resilient players, they bounced back from a painful loss at alabama to earn a spot in the Sugar Bowl, and Blackledge was their offensive leader. Now a respected commentator and sports journalist, he continues to engage and achieve at the highest levels.
Mother Dunn, LB, C (1903-1906)
William Thomas *Mother* Dunn, was Penn State's first superstar player, and is it any surprise that he was a linebacker? Dunn was chosen to be an All American in 1906 by Walter Camp; it was the first time that the honor have been given to a non-ivy league player. An iconic symbol for Penn State football, Mother Dunn was the original BCS Lion!