UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – When the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks clash in Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2, Penn State again will be represented in the National Football League's championship game at MetLife Stadium.
A pair of former Penn State standouts, Jordan Hill and Michael Robinson, helped Seattle win its first NFC Championship in eight years, with a 23-17 win Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers.
For the 43rd time in the Super Bowl’s 48-game history, at least one Penn State alumnus will be a member of one of the teams (17 times in last 19 years). Thirty-five former Nittany Lions have earned a total of 51 Super Bowl rings, most recently Kareem McKenzie and Jimmy Kennedy with the Super Bowl XLVI champion New York Giants. Tight end Andrew Quarless earned a Super Bowl ring with the Green Bay Packers as a rookie in Super Bowl XLV.
In his eighth NFL season, Robinson will be advancing to the Super Bowl for the first time. A fullback, he is in his fourth season with Seattle after four years with San Francisco. During the 2013 regular season, Robinson started three games and made two catches for 27 yards. He has 32 career receptions and three touchdown catches with Seattle. Robinson was selected by the 49ers in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft.
Robinson was the 2005 Chicago Tribune Silver Football recipient as Big Ten MVP and a first-team all-conference selection after posting one of the greatest seasons by a Penn State quarterback. A co-captain, Robinson led the Nittany Lions to an 11-1 on-field record and the Big Ten and FedEx Orange Bowl titles. From Richmond, Va., and Varina High School, he finished fifth in balloting for the 2005 Heisman Trophy.
A defensive tackle, Hill played in four regular season games during his rookie season in Seattle. He has recorded seven tackles (four solo), including 1.5 sacks. Hill made a season-high three stops, with 0.5 sack, in the Seahawks’ 20-13 win over Tennessee and he recorded a sack in the 23-0 win at the New York Giants. From Steelton, Pa., Hill was selected in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
A 2012 second-team All-American and team co-captain, Hill started 24 games in 2011 and 2012. The former Steelton-Highspire High School standout was selected first-team All-Big Ten in 2012 and was a two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honoree during his senior season. In his final game as a Nittany Lion, Hill made a career-high 12 tackles, with two sacks (minus-11) and 3.0 TFL (minus-14) in the Nittany Lions' 24-21 overtime win over Wisconsin on Senior Day.
Two former Nittany Lions – offensive lineman Mike Farrell and wide receiver Jordan Norwood – were signed to future contracts with Denver on Dec. 31 and will officially join the Broncos’ roster in March.
Ten former Nittany Lions were on the rosters of 2013 NFL playoff teams, with at least one Penn Stater on seven of the squads who were vying for a berth in Super Bowl XLVIII.
There were 25 former Nittany Lions with NFL teams at the end of the regular season, placing Penn State in the top 15 nationally among schools in producing current NFL players.
A total of 332 Nittany Lions have been selected all-time in the NFL Draft, including 36 in the first round. Thirty-three Penn State football student-athletes have been drafted since 2006, including 15 in the first three rounds.
Penn State announced the hiring of James Franklin as its 16th head football coach on Jan. 11. Coach Franklin and the Nittany Lions open the 2014 season on Aug. 30 vs. 2014 Fiesta Bowl Champion UCF in Dublin, Ireland, at the Croke Park Classic.
Penn State returns 15 starters (seven offense, seven defense, one specialist) and will host Rose Bowl Champion Michigan State (Nov. 29), Ohio State (Oct. 25), Northwestern (Sept. 27-Homecoming) and Maryland (Nov. 1) during its 2014 Big Ten home schedule. The Nittany Lions will play a trio of 2013 Top 10 teams next season.
For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing 2014 season tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, visit www.GoPSUsports.com/tickets or call 800-NITTANYs from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. Season ticket renewals are being taken online and Nittany Lion Club members are reminded that the deadline for donations is Feb. 1.