September 21, 2010

Fox Sports Florida needs to STFU about the 'New Linebacker U'

If our blog was of any other name, this wouldn't warrant a post of its own. However, we here at take Penn State's earned nickname very seriously. And when any other moron tries to claim his or her school is the "next" or "new" Linebacker U, it makes our blood boil.

The latest weak argument, courtesy of (of course) SEC country:
They call Penn State “Linebacker U.” And for sure, the Nittany Lions have produced some great “backers” through the years. Jack Ham, LaVar Arrington, Brandon Short, just to name a few.

But consider this. Since 1998, no fewer than 6 Florida Gators have gone on to play linebacker in the NFL. Five are still active. And we’re not talking about guys that are just hanging on to a roster spot. Jevon Kearse was a 3-time pro bowler. Mike Peterson is with the Atlanta Falcons, in his 12th season in the NFL. Andra Davis, with the Buffalo Bills, is in his 9th year. Channing Crowder, his 6th with the Dolphins. Brandon Siler, his 4th year with the Chargers. And Brandon Spikes is getting a lot of playing time as a rookie linebacker with the New England Patriots.
Oooo... SIX linebackers to the NFL since 1998! How about them apples, huh?

If that's not one of the weakest challenges to Penn State's LBU reputation, I don't know of the others. Let me indulge...

Since FSFlorida is using 1998 as the mark, let's take a gander at a few names you might find familar:

Lavar Arrington
Brandon Short
Tamba Hali (now starting LB)
Tim Shaw
Paul Posluszny
Dan Connor
Navorro Bowman
Sean Lee
Josh Hull

I know not every fan base is as educated as the Nittany Nation, but simple greater-than/less-than is a concept most of us should have learned well before college.

Florida has had six (6) linebackers taken to the NFL since 1998. Penn State has had nine (9) linebackers drafted since 1998. One of those numbers is not like the other. In fact, one of those numbers is BIGGER than the other. You know which one?

Penn State's nine linebackers drafted are more than Florida's six.

Even if you want to take away Hali, since he was an end coming out of college, that's still eight pure linebackers drafted out of Penn State. (hint: eight is still bigger than six)

You know how many of those linebackers are still active on NFL rosters, or outright starting? Seven. Yup, Penn State has more current NFL linebackers than Florida's had taken since 1998.

I could also throw in Cameron Wake (PSU starting LB '02-'04), who is starting and starring for the Miami Dolphins. But I play fair, and since he wasn't drafted out of college, I'll leave him out of this equation.

Wow, FS Florida's lame argument was easier to debunk than I had anticipated...

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  1. I'll add a thought (and you hinted at it, I think): note that FSFlorida uses the phrasing "have gone on to play linebacker..." That suggests to me that one or more of the Florida players weren't drafted, but earned a playing spot after signing a free-agent contract.

    Good Blog: keep up the good work.

    Merrillville, Indiana

  2. You're correct. I tried to change how I worded a few things, but I think the argument by fs fla is actually weaker after I did that. Thanks!

  3. Ohio State has had 12 (13 if you count Gholston)linebackers drafted since 1998.

    James Laurinaitis 2009
    Marcus Freeman 2009
    Vernon Gholston 2008 (if you want to count him)
    Larry Grant 2008
    A.J. Hawk 2006
    Bobby Carpenter 2006
    Anthony Schlegel 2006
    Rob Reynolds 2004
    Cie Grant 2003
    Matt Wilhelm 2003
    Courtland Bullard 2002
    Na'il Diggs 2000
    Andy Katzenmoyer 1999

  4. Yes, but as of late, the OSU guys keep losing their LB jobs to PSU guys.

  5. The point about the moniker Linebacker U is it's a testament to time. We're not Linebacker U because we've had recent success at the position (although we have) but Penn State has turned out some of college football's all time great linebackers in almost every decade since Paterno has taken over. And it's no secret to why, Paterno has traditionally taken the best High School athletes (sometimes high school QB's) and moved them to that position because he has always felt that the Linebacker position is the most important on the defense so you better have great players there. It's really that simple.

  6. Jevon Kearse wasn't exactly drafted as a LB either yet they count him.

    Jon D

  7. Justin Kurpeikis also played LB in the NFL. If you count him, Hali and Wake, PSU had 11 LBs in the NFL

  8. In addition to the above, Aaron Maybin is playing linebacker.

  9. Arrington: Butkus, Bednarik, Lambert
    Posluszny: Butkus and Bednarik(x2)
    Dan Connor: Bednarik

    PSU linebackers took the Bednarik award from 2005-2007!