Four Nittany Lions Make ESPN’s Top 150 College Football Players
Four Penn State football legends — Jack Ham, John Cappelletti, LaVar Arrington, and Mike Reid — were featured on ESPN’s top 150 college football players, released Thursday morning.
Jack Ham is the highest ranked Penn State player on the list, coming in at No. 69. He finished his career as a linebacker in Happy Valley with 251 total tackles and four blocked kicks — three of which came during his All-American senior season.
The Nittany Lions had an impressive 29-3 record with Ham on the team. His college career is what cemented Penn State as “Linebacker U.”
John Cappelletti was the next highest ranking Nittany Lion, coming in at No. 98. A cornerback for his first two seasons at Penn State, Cappelletti switched to running back during his junior season and racked up 1,117 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns.
During his senior season, Cappelletti rushed for 1,522 yards and 17 touchdowns on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy. He helped lead Penn State to a perfect 12-0 season and a respectable No. 5 ranking in the college football polls.
Linebacker LaVar Arrington was ranked No. 102. He finished his career with 19 sacks and 39 tackles for a loss. He was the first sophomore to win the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, tallying 65 tackles, seven sacks, and two interceptions. He built off that success in his junior year, where he became a consensus first-team All-American and won both the Butkus and Chuck Bednarik Awards.
The last Nittany Lion on the list was defensive lineman Mike Reid, who placed at No. 145. Reid anchored the defense in Joe Paterno’s early days as a head coach, helping the Nittany Lions go 22-0 in his final two seasons. He was the recipient of the Outland and Maxwell Awards and also holds the very cool distinction of being in both the College Football and Country Music Hall of Fame, as he left football early to pursue a music career.
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