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Johnathan Thomas, Koa Farmer Sign Pro Contracts With Cincinnati, Oakland

Penn State football’s Johnathan Thomas and Koa Farmer have found NFL homes with the Cincinnati Bengals and Oakland Raiders, respectively.

Farmer was a starting linebacker in each of the past two seasons for Penn State. He, Cam Brown, and Jan Johnson held down the fort at linebacker in 2018 to form a solid group behind the defensive line. The former safety made 52 tackles and defended two passes in his final season as a Nittany Lion.

Before becoming a linebacker in his junior year, Farmer served as both a kick returner and safety for the Nittany Lions. The decision to convert to linebacker paid off after he put up strong numbers at Penn State’s pro day, including a 4.48-second 40-yard dash and 25 reps on the bench press.

Meanwhile, Thomas mostly served as a reserve running back for the Nittany Lions. His moment in the spotlight came when he rushed for 84 yards on three carries in Penn State’s blowout victory over Kent State this season. Of those, 69 yards came on one carry, and he capped off the drive with a touchdown rush. He’ll team up with Jason Cabinda with the Raiders.

Penn State now has 12 players entering the professional ranks after this weekend. Miles Sanders, Connor McGovern, Shareef Miller, Amani Oruwariye, Trace McSorley, and Nick Scott all heard their names called at the NFL Draft before six of their teammates — including Thomas and Farmer — signed professional contracts as undrafted free agents.

Sanders, Miller, DeAndre Thompkins, and Ryan Bates will all join the Philadelphia Eagles, McGovern will play for the Dallas Cowboys, Oruwariye is off to Detroit to play for the Lions, and Trace McSorley will stay near his hometown and play for the Baltimore Ravens. Additionally, Kyle Vasey is headed to Atlanta to play for the Falcons, and Kevin Gives will play for the San Francisco 49ers.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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