Thirty-one former Nittany Lions on NFL rosters

Penn State football alumni again comprise a large portion of National Football League rosters.

There were 31 former Nittany Lions with NFL teams during the 2009 Season Kickoff week, again placing Penn State among the top 15 schools in the nation in producing current NFL players. Twenty-five Penn Staters were on active rosters, two were on practice squads and four were on the injured reserve list.

Six players from Penn State's 2008 squad made NFL rosters as rookies: Deon Butler (Seattle), Maurice Evans (Tampa Bay), Aaron Maybin (Buffalo), Rich Ohrnberger (New England), A.Q. Shipley (Pittsburgh) and Derrick Williams (Detroit). Evans was released earlier this week.

Also making an NFL roster for the first time was Cameron (Derek) Wake, who was a senior co-captain on Penn State's 2004 squad. Wake made the Miami Dolphins roster as a linebacker after being selected Canadian Football League Defensive Player of the Year in 2007 and '08.

Former Nittany Lions are spread out over 20 NFL teams. The Buffalo Bills featured three former Nittany Lions on their active opening week roster and rookie Lydell Sargeant was on injured reserve. The Bills have veterans Bryan Scott and Paul Posluszny and 2009 first round pick Aaron Maybin. Posluszny broke a bone in his left arm in Monday's game at New England and is expected to be sidelined for several weeks.

The Kansas City Chiefs' roster includes Penn Staters Bobby Engram, Tamba Hali and Larry Johnson. Engram is in his first season with Kansas City. The Chicago Bears' roster includes former Nittany Lions Anthony Adams, Robbie Gould and Tyler Reed.

Quarterback Kerry Collins (Tennessee) leads the former Lions in NFL experience, in his 15th season. Wide receiver Bobby Engram (Kansas City) is in 14th season. Collins and Engram were first team All-Americans on Penn State's 12-0 Big Ten Championship squad in 1994.

New York Giants' defensive tackle Jay Alford suffered a torn MCL and partially torn ACL during a pre-season game and will miss the 2009 season. Former Nittany Lions Sean McHugh (Pittsburgh), Tyler Reed (Chicago) and Lydell Sargeant (Buffalo) also are on the injured reserve list.

More than 350 Nittany Lions have signed NFL contracts since Joe Paterno became head coach in 1966. The Hall of Fame coach has seen 239 of his players drafted by NFL squads.

Thirty-two Nittany Lions have been NFL first round draft choices since 1966, including including defensive end Aaron Maybin, whom the Bills selected with the No. 11 overall pick in 2009. Tackle Levi Brown (Arizona) was the No. 5 overall pick in 2007.

Penn State has had at least one alumnus on a Super Bowl team in 39 of 43 title games, including Sean McHugh and Scott Paxson with the Super Bowl XLIII Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. Thirty-two former Nittany Lions have earned a total of 48 Super Bowl rings.

Former Nittany Lions on 2009 NFL Season Kickoff rosters, practice squads and injured reserve (pro season in parentheses):

Arizona Cardinals - Levi Brown (3)

Baltimore Ravens - Isaac Smolko (3)

Buffalo Bills - Aaron Maybin (1), Paul Posluszny (3), Lydell Sargeant (1), Bryan Scott (7)

Carolina Panthers - Dan Connor (2)

Chicago Bears - Anthony Adams (7), Robbie Gould (5), Tyler Reed (4)

Detroit Lions - Bryant Johnson (7), Derrick Williams (1)

Green Bay Packers - Jeremy Kapinos (2)

Indianapolis Colts - Ed Johnson (2)

Kansas City Chiefs - Bobby Engram (14), Tamba Hali (4), Larry Johnson (7)

Miami Dolphins - Cameron Wake (1)

Minnesota Vikings - Jimmy Kennedy (7)

New England Patriots - Rich Ohrnberger (1)

New York Giants - Jay Alford (3), Kareem McKenzie (9)

Oakland Raiders - Tony Stewart (9)

Pittsburgh Steelers - Sean McHugh (5), A.Q. Shipley (1)

San Francisco 49ers - Michael Robinson (4)

Seattle Seahawks - Deon Butler (1)

St. Louis Rams - Justin King (2)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -Maurice Evans (1), John Gilmore (9)

Tennessee Titans - Kerry Collins (15)

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Last Updated November 18, 2010