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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Top 11 Penn State Football Players of All Time

Top 11 Penn State Football Players of All Time

Top 11 Penn State Players of All Time!
Publish Date: 12/25/2022
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

11) John Cappelletti 

Cappelletti rushed for 1,522 yards and 17 scores that season en route to winning the Heisman and Maxwell trophies and being named national player of the year. The story of John and his brother Joey was so great that they made a movie about the two.

Video: Classic Tailback - John Cappelletti Penn State Highlights

Classic Tailback – John Cappelletti Penn State Highlights

10) LaVar Arrington

Arrington was a two-time All-American who won the Butkus and Bednarik awards as the nation’s top linebacker and defensive player. Arrington had a flair for the dramatic and was a dominating defensive player.

Video: #Throwback | LaVar Arrington | Penn State | Highlights

#Throwback | LaVar Arrington | Penn State | Highlights

9) Dave Robinson

Robinson was a defensive end who caught 17 passes for 178 yards to All-America honors in 1962. That’s right, a defensive end that also excelled at wide receiver!

Video: Dave Robinson: Black Packers players struggled to find housing in 1960s

Dave Robinson: Black Packers players struggled to find housing in 1960s

8) Lenny Moore

Believe it or not, Lenny Moore was never named as a first-team all-American, but he was twice named to the second team. Moore was blazing fast and maybe the greatest open-field runner that the Nittany Lions ever had.

Video: Lenny Moore: The Most Explosive Running Back in NFL History

Lenny Moore: The Most Explosive Running Back in NFL History

7) Ki Jana Carter

In 1994 Carter ranked No. 4 in the nation in rushing that season with 1,539 yards while scoring 23 touchdowns and averaging an incredible 7.8 yards per carry. Carter is Penn State’s all-time leader in career rushing average (7.2 ypc) and ranks third with 34 rushing scores. An injury derailed his NFL career, but Carter was a special talent.

Video: Ki-Jana Carter - 83-yard TD vs Oregon - 1995 Rose Bowl

Ki-Jana Carter – 83-yard TD vs Oregon – 1995 Rose Bowl

6) Curt Warner

Warner topped 900 yards on three occasions and finished his career with back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns, including 1,041 yards and 13 total scores for the 1982 national championship team.

Video: Classic Tailback - Curt Warner Penn State Highlights

Classic Tailback – Curt Warner Penn State Highlights

5) Shane Conlan

Conlan was not recruited heavily out of High School, but damn he was good. In 1986 he was the leader of the Penn State defense. They stymied and upset the number one ranked Miami Hurricanes in the Fiesta Bowl to win the National Championship. Conlan played his greatest game that night, intercepting Vinny Testaverde twice, the last set up the game-winning score.

Video: Linebacker U Penn State Shane Conlan blows up the Sooners

Linebacker U Penn State Shane Conlan blows up the Sooners

4) Mike Reid

Reid was a captain on the Nittany Lion’s undefeated 1968 and 1969 teams that went 22-0. In his senior year (1969), the tackle spearheaded Penn State on defense with 89 tackles and was a unanimous All-America choice and All-East selection. He won the Outland Trophy as the best College football interior lineman in 1969, and also was awarded the 1969 Maxwell Award and finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy balloting. Reid also wrestled at Penn State, and in 1967, he won the Eastern heavyweight wrestling title. Reid was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals and was an all-pro defensive tackle until he retired after 1974 to pursue his true love, music.

Video: Drafted To The NFL- Guest Mike Reid

Drafted To The NFL- Guest Mike Reid

3) Lydell Mitchell

In 1971 Mitchell rushed for a then-school record of 1,567 yards that season and set NCAA records with 26 rushing touchdowns and 29 total scores.

Video: Top Lydell Mitchell Touchdowns | Lydell Mitchell Highlights

Top Lydell Mitchell Touchdowns | Lydell Mitchell Highlights

2) Saquon Barkley

Barkley finished his career as Penn State’s all-time rushing touchdown (43) and total touchdown (53) record holder, surpassing Lydell Mitchell’s records. Barkley became only 1-of-2 Nittany Lions to reach the 5,000 all-purpose yard mark and the ninth player in school history to eclipse the 4,000 all-purpose yard mark…Set the school record with a touchdown scored in 15-straight games.

Video: “A Generational Talent” ᴴᴰ || Saquon Barkley Career Highlights || Penn State RB #26

“A Generational Talent” ᴴᴰ || Saquon Barkley Career Highlights || Penn State RB #26

1) Jack Ham

Jack Ham is the most outstanding outside linebacker I have ever seen, not named Lawrence Taylor. Ham is the only player in Penn State history to be inducted into the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame. He was an All-American senior captain in 1970, recording 91 tackles and four interceptions. Ham was also a great special teams player and had 3 blocked punts in 1970.

Video: Linebacker Jack Ham “The Hammer”

Linebacker Jack Ham “The Hammer”

 

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