Former Nittany Lions Sign With NFL Teams
On Monday, the NFL lockout finally ended after over four months of legal disputes, enabling teams to sign rookie free agents for the first time since the lockout began.
This news was crucial for several Penn Staters with NFL aspirations, in addition to draft selections Stefen Wisniewski (2nd round, 48th overall to the Oakland Raiders), and Evan Royster (6th round, 177th overall to the Washington Redskins).
Last season’s offensive captain, Brett Brackett, has signed on with the Miami Dolphins. The Lawrenceville, NJ native was a wide receiver for the Nittany Lions, but will play tight end for the Dolphins. He will be joining former teammates Jared Odrick and Mickey Shuler in South Florida as well as former Nittany Lion Cameron (Derek) Wake. The 6-foot-5 Brackett was finished last season with 39 receptions for 525 yards and 5 touchdowns.
2010 defensive captain Ollie Ogbu was signed by the defending AFC South champions, the Indianapolis Colts. The 6-foot-1 285 pound run-stuffing defensive tackle was a three year starter for the Nittany Lions and finished his senior season with 48 total tackles (8.5 for loss).
Joining Ogbu with the Colts will be former middle linebacker Chris Colasanti. An Academic All-American, Colasanti was Penn State’s leading tackler last season, registering 112 total tackles.
The Oakland Raiders will be home to three Nittany Lions when training camp begins. Joining Wisniewski will be linebacker Bani Gbadyu and offensive lineman Lou Eliades. Gbadyu, a 6-foot-1 240 pound outside linebacker, was 7th on the team last season with 50 tackles. Eliades was sidelined for most of 2010 after tearing his ACL against Temple in week 3. Prior to this, the 6-foot-4 310 pound Eliades started every game at right guard in 2009 for the Nittany Lions.
Former Penn State quarterback Pat Devlin, who transferred to Delaware and led them to the FCS National Championship Game last season, will join Brackett in Miami. He reportedly agreed to a three-year contract.
Additionally, Chris Hogan, a former all-conference lacrosse player at Penn State, was signed by the San Francisco 49ers as a wide receiver. Hogan played one year of college football as a wide receiver and defensive back for Monmouth University. Hogan had 12 receptions for 147 yards and 3 touchdowns as a receiver, and 28 tackles and 3 interceptions on defense.