UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – For the second time in three years, a pair of former Penn State standouts have earned Super Bowl rings.
Seattle fullback Michael Robinson and rookie defensive tackle Jordan Hill helped the Seahawks to a dominating 43-8 win over the Denver Broncos Sunday in Super Bowl XLVIII. The former Nittany Lions helped Seattle win its first National Football League championship in its second Super Bowl appearance.
With Seattle’s victory, a total of 37 former Nittany Lions have earned a total of 54 Super Bowl rings. Former Penn State standouts Kareem McKenzie and Jimmy Kennedy were members of 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.
For the 43rd time in the Super Bowl’s 48-game history, at least one Penn State alumnus was a member of one of the teams (17th time in last 19 years). A total of 103 Nittany Lions have been on Super Bowl rosters, the third-highest total nationally, trailing only Miami (Fla.) and USC.
In his eighth NFL season, Robinson played in his first Super Bowl. A fullback, he caught one pass for seven yards and was the lead blocker on Marshawn Lynch’s second quarter touchdown run in the Super Bowl win over Denver.
After the game, Robinson commented from his Twitter account, “All glory to God! Super Bowl Champs! Thanks #12thman best fans in @nfl the Lombardi Trophy will rest in the Pacific Northwest! @Seahawks.”
Robinson 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 regular season 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., 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. He 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, 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.
Ten former Nittany Lions were on the rosters of 2013 National Football League 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. Fans are invited to hear from coach Franklin, and former All-America linebackers LaVar Arrington and Michael Mauti, as they discuss the Nittany Lions’ Class of 2014 signees on Wednesday, Feb. 5 - National Letter of Intent Day.
“Penn State Football - The Signature Event” will be held in the Bryce Jordan Center. The doors will open at 5 p.m. for general admission seating, with the program starting at 6 p.m. Tickets for the event are $5 and Penn State students will be admitted for free with a valid Penn State ID at Gate A. The Jordan Center concession stands will be open before and during the event. Parking will be free in the lots west of Beaver Stadium and east of the Jordan Center.
General admission tickets for the “The Signature Event” can be purchased in advance online at www.GoPSUsports.com/signingday. Follow the link to the Penn State Account Manager, login if you are a returning ticket purchaser or create a new account to purchase and print your event tickets at home. Tickets also are available in advance from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays by calling 800-NITTANY or at the Bryce Jordan Center Ticket Office.
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 in 2014 and open the season on Aug. 30 vs. UCF in Dublin at the Croke Park Classic.
For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing 2014 season tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit www.GoPSUsports.com/tickets or call 800-NITTANY 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.
Penn State Football is on Twitter (@PennStateFball) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/PSUFball).