Three Penn Staters Named To 2014 NFL Pro Bowl
Three former Penn State football players were named to the 2014 NFL Pro Bowl team on Friday night. Cameron Wake, NaVorro Bowman, and Tamba Hali will all represent their respective pro teams in the Pro Bowl — the NFL all-star game — at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. This is the first season that the Pro Bowl will not be divided by conference, instead featuring a draft as captains Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders will select teams from the pool of players voted into the game.
Hali had an outstanding season at outside linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs, helping lead a defense that gave up a league fourth-best 18.5 points per game. Hali will not play in the last game of the regular season for the 11-4 Chiefs, so he finishes his year with 46 tackles, 11 sacks, four forced fumbles, and one interception — resulting in a pick six — as Kansas City eyes the playoffs. Hali’s sack total was good for eighth in the NFL.
Bowman has posted an impressive 111 tackles this season, trailing only fellow Penn Stater Paul Posluszny of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the category. The San Francisco 49ers are third in the league in total defense, thanks largely to a front seven that relies on Bowman’s strong play at the linebacker position. In addition to his plethora of tackles, Bowman has four sacks, eight passes defended, an interception returned 89 yards for a score, and three forced fumbles on the year. Bowman’s 49ers are 11-4 and currently hold the first Wild Card spot in the NFC with one game left to play in the regular season.
Wake similarly represents a team that’s eyeing postseason play as his Miami Dolphins hold the sixth and final seed in the AFC with an 8-7 record.The Dolphins don’t have an overly impressive defense, but Wake’s play has helped keep the team in the playoff mix. He has 35 tackles, 8.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles on the season along with one safety.
The Pro Bowl is played one week before the Super Bowl,so it’s possible that we won’t see all three of these former Penn Staters in the all-star game. Players from teams taking part in the Super Bowl sit out for the Pro Bowl and are replaced by alternates for the game.
We congratulate all three of these Penn Staters and are proud that they are representing the Nittany Lions well in the National Football League. You can watch the game on January 26 at 7 p.m. on NBC.