Poz: Senior Bowl Captain

Paul Posluszny

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., January 26, 2007 – Penn State All-America linebacker Paul Posluszny (Aliquippa) has been named a North team tri-captain for Saturday's 58th annual Senior Bowl by Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden, who is head coach of the North. The Senior Bowl Game is Saturday at 4:00 p.m. on NFL Network.

Louisville defensive tackle Amobi Okoye and Nebraska defensive end Adam Carriker will join Posluszny as team captains for the 4:00 p.m. game, which will be televised by the NFL Network.

Posluszny has been joined in Mobile, Ala. this week by Penn State tackle Levi Brown (Norfolk, Va.) and tailback Tony Hunt (Alexandria, Va.). The three players have been instrumental in Penn State winning 22 of its last 27 games, earning a Big Ten Championship and victories in the 2006 FedEx Orange Bowl and 2007 Outback Bowl.

A total of six Nittany Lions are playing in 2007 all-star games. Defensive tackle Jay Alford (Orange, N.J.), tackle Ed Johnson (Detroit) and end Tim Shaw (Livonia, Mich.) played in the Hula Bowl.

Posluszny was elected a Penn State co-captain in 2005 and '06, becoming the first junior to serve as a team captain since Mike Reid and Steve Smear in 1968.

Posluszny was the 2005 and '06 Bednarik Award winner, presented to the nation's top defensive player by the Maxwell Football Club. The 2005 Butkus Award winner as the nation's top linebacker, he also was a finalist for the 2006 Butkus and Rotary Lombardi Awards and the Lott Trophy. A 2006 Associated Press and Walter Camp Football Foundation first team All-American, Posluszny joined Dennis Onkotz (1968-69), Shane Conlan (1985-86) and LaVar Arrington (1998-99) as Nittany Lion linebackers that have earned first team All-America accolades twice. He is one of six Nittany Lions to receive All-Big Ten honors three times.

The former Hopewell High School standout again was the steely-eyed guiding force in helping the Penn State defense finish 2006 ranked in the top 15 nationally in rushing (87.5 ypg, 7th), scoring (14.4 ppg, 9th), total defense (284.5 ypg, 15th) and pass efficiency defense (105.9 rating, 14th) and sacks (40, T-sixth). A starter in the last 37 games of his superlative career, Posluszny is the first Nittany Lion to lead the team in tackles three times and to post three 100-tackle seasons. The tough and tenacious player led Penn State with 116 tackles (69 solo), which ranked No. 3 in the Big Ten, and had 9.5 TFL, 3.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and four pass breakups.

Posluszny also is a two-time first team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American and was selected the 2006 Academic All-American of the Year among Division I football players. He and guard Jeff Hartings (1994-95) are the only Nittany Lions to earn first team All-America and Academic All-America honors twice. Posluszny graduated in December 2006, in 3 1/2 years, with a degree in finance and a 3.54 cumulative grade point average.

Posluszny also is a finalist for the 2006 Dapper Dan Sportsman of the Year. Fans can vote online for Posluszny until noon on Tuesday, January 30 at: http://www.post-gazette.com/dapperdan. Ballots also are available in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, sponsor of the Dapper Dan Charities.

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