Penn Staters In The NFL: Week Five Update

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As Penn State reaches its bye week, many fans direct their attention to the NFL . There are a number of alums that excelled both in State College and with their respective professional teams, some even being team captains. Here’s look into each of the most successful Nittany Lions and check on how they have been performing in the NFL so far.

Sean Lee – Dallas Cowboys

The unquestioned leader of the Cowboys defense, Lee has a combined 22 tackles in his three games played this season. He has missed the past two games due to a hamstring injury against the Rams and Packers, which both resulted in last-second losses. The Cowboys now face a bye week, where Lee is expected to become fully healthy and good to go against the 49ers.

NaVorro Bowman – San Francisco 49ers

In his eighth season out of Penn State, Bowman has been another veteran that has set a great example for up-and-coming players. The 49ers might not have the prettiest record, but Bowman is providing the team with some grit it doesn’t see very often. He hasn’t gotten his first sack of the season yet, but has combined for 38 total tackles.

Jesse James – Pittsburgh Steelers

In the first game of the season against the Cleveland Browns, James caught six passes for 41 yards and two touchdowns. Since, he has trailed off a bit but remains the starter in Pittsburgh. The Steelers’ offense has struggled in past weeks, so not much blame can truly be put on James. He may not be the most productive Penn State alumnus, but definitely has a spot in Nittany Lion fans’ hearts after being on the team only three seasons ago.

Chris Godwin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

In his rookie season, Godwin has established himself as a top-three receiver for the Bucs. Although quarterback Jameis Winston has made Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson his top two priorities, Godwin has made some progress as well. He may only have four receptions for 52 yards on the season, but he could be a factor as he grows with this team.

Anthony Zettel – Detroit Lions

Zettel, in his second pro season, already has 16 tackles, four sacks, and a fumble recovery through five games. He is under consideration for the Pro Bowl, which not many people saw coming. He was a sixth round pick by the Lions, but has flourished in Detroit. He most notably had three tackles, two sacks, and a fumble recovery against the Minnesota Vikings. Watch out for him as the season progresses, as he just might be the next pass rushing sensation.

Cameron Wake – Miami Dolphins

Wake has consistently been one of the best Miami defenders over the past nine seasons. He already has 2.5 sacks and 12 total tackles, leading the Dolphins to a 2-2 record thus far. With Ndamukong Suh next to him on the defensive line, Wake and Miami have the capability to rattle opposing offenses at a moment’s notice. Wake has been an integral part of the Fins defense for a while now, and he isn’t likely to let up anytime soon.

Robbie Gould – San Francisco 49ers

He may have bounced around the NFL for a little while, but Gould now sits comfortably on the 49ers as their starting placekicker. He is currently a perfect 14-14 on kicks, including 8-8 on attempts from more than 40 yards out. Gould was only 39-61 on field goals in college, but has become more than reliable during his stints with the Bears, Giants, and 49ers. Pick him up in fantasy for a nice option at kicker.

Paul Posluszny – Jacksonville Jaguars

With 372 tackles over his four year career (second most in school history), Posluszny made a name for himself as a Nittany Lion. He now is one of the star linebackers for the Jaguars, already registering ten total tackles and three assists. Jacksonville is also off their best start since 2010 with a 3-2 record. He was a fan favorite as a linebacker from 2003-2006, being a consensus All-American for his junior and senior seasons. Look out for the Jaguars as they try to build off a successful start.

Photo By: Alex Bauer
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About Author

Austin Smith

Austin Smith is a sophomore broadcast journalism major. He grew up in New Jersey and is a sports writer for Onward State. He specializes in both professional/collegiate football and basketball.

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