The Arizona Cardinals today selected Penn State standout tackle Levi Brown No. 5 overall in the National Football League Draft. Fellow 2006 co-captain Paul Posluszny, the 2005 and '06 Bednarik Award winner, was selected by the Buffalo Bills with the second pick of the second round and No. 34 overall.
In the third round, defensive tackle Jay Alford was picked by the New York Giants, with the 81st overall pick. Nine picks later, the Philadelphia Eagles selected tailback Tony Hunt, No. 2 on the Nittany Lions' all-time rushing yardage list.
With Hunt's selection, 231 Nittany Lions have been drafted under Joe Paterno and more than 300 of his players have signed NFL contracts.
A two-time All-American, the 6-5, 323-pound Brown is the 34th Nittany Lion to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, 31 of whom have played for legendary coach Joe Paterno. A product of Granby High School in Norfolk, Va., Brown is the sixth Nittany Lion to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft over the past four years.
Brown is the highest drafted Nittany Lion since Courtney Brown and LaVar Arrington were selected No. 1-2 in the 2000 NFL Draft.
In Arizona, Brown will join former Nittany Lions John Bronson, a tight end, and wide receiver Bryant Johnson, who was a first round pick by the Cardinals in the 2003 NFL Draft.
Penn State's best offensive lineman in the past 10 years, Brown started 45 of
the last 48 games of his outstanding career. The lone returning starter on the
offensive line entering the 2006 season, Brown earned second team All-America
honors for the second consecutive year, from the Walter Camp Football Foundation
and The Sporting News. A two-time All-Big Ten selection, he was a dominating
A 2006 co-captain with All-America linebacker Posluszny, Brown was instrumental in Tony Hunt becoming just the sixth Nittany Lion to compile a pair of 1,000 yard rushing seasons, with eight 100-yard games this past season. Hunt gained 3,320 career yards, second-best in Penn State annals, and finished the 2006 season with 1,386 yards, sixth-best in school season history.
Brown capped his collegiate career by helping the Nittany Lions gain 380 yards in a 20-10 win over No. 17 Tennessee in the 2007 Outback Bowl. Penn State primarily ran to the left side behind Brown, gaining 183 yards on 40 attempts, including 158 yards from Hunt.
Brown earned his degree in labor and industrial relations in 3 1/2 years, graduating in December 2005. He earned his second degree, in psychology, in December 2006.
Buffalo traded two picks to Detroit in order to move up and select Posluszny a three-time All-Big Ten choice.
Just the second two-time winner of the Bednarik Award as the nation's top defensive player, Posluszny established himself as one of the all-time greats to play the position at "Linebacker U.". The former Hopewell High School standout from Aliquippa, Pa. is the Nittany Lions' all-time tackle leader with 372. He was also named team co-captain as a junior and a senior and, in 2005, was the first junior to serve as a captain since 1968.
A two-time first-team All-American for his play on the field, Posluszny also was a two-time first-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American and was selected the 2006 Academic All-American of the Year among Division I football players. He graduated with a degree in finance and a 3.54 cumulative grade-point average in December 2006, and
The 2005 Butkus Award winner as the nation's top linebacker, Posluszny also
was a finalist for the 2006 Butkus and Rotary Lombardi Awards and the Lott
Trophy. A 2006 Associated Press and Walter Camp Football Foundation first team
All-American, Posluszny joined Dennis Onkotz (1968-69), Shane Conlan (1985-86)
and LaVar Arrington (1998-99) as Nittany Lion linebackers that have earned
first-team All-America accolades twice. He is one of six Nittany Lions to
receive All-Big Ten honors three times.
A starter in 41 games during his stellar career, Alford was a major factor in the success of the nationally ranked Nittany Lion defense the past three seasons. Rated the nation's No.4 defensive tackle by The Sporting News entering the 2006 season, Alford led Penn State in sacks (8.0-minus 43) and tackles for losses (14.5), ranking sixth in the Big Ten in both categories.
A 2006 third team Associated Press All-American, the Orange, N.J. product earned second team all-conference honors for the second consecutive year. The lone returning starter on the D-Line entering the season, Alford is tied for eighth on the Penn State career sack list with 19 and is tied for 14th with 32 career minus yardage plays. A tenacious, smart and hard-working athlete, the 6-3, 304-pound Alford made 32 tackles (23 solo), forced two fumbles, recovered two fumbles and had a pass break-up. Alford earned his degree integrative arts in December 2006.
In New York, Alford will join former Nittany Lion standouts Kareem McKenzie (tackle) and linebacker Brandon Short.
The MVP of the 2007 Senior Bowl, Hunt quietly earned his place among Penn
State's long line of illustrious running backs. A starter in the last 29 games
of his brilliant career, his abilities as a ball-carrier, receiver and blocker
led Joe Paterno to laud Hunt as one of the best all-around backs he has ever
powerful athlete who gets stronger as he gets into the flow of the game, Hunt concluded his career with another superb effort, earning MVP honors in the 2007 Outback Bowl. He ran for 158 yards on a career-high tying 31 carries (5.1 avg.) in the Nittany Lions' 20-10 win over No. 17 Tennessee. The 158 yards were the second-highest of his career (167 vs. Temple) and the second-highest by a Nittany Lion in a bowl game (186, Blair Thomas vs. BYU in 1989 Holiday Bowl). The Alexandria, Va. product finished his career with 3,320 yards, just 78 yards behind career leader Curt Warner.
In 2006, Hunt received second-team All-Big Ten honors, for the second consecutive season, and averaged 106.6 ypg, good for third in the Big Ten. He ran for 1,386 yards and 11 touchdowns, good for 12th in the nation, and ranking him sixth all-time at Penn State for season rushing yards. His 88 career receptions are the most by a PSU running back and tied for 10th overall. His 4,231 career all-purpose yards position him fourth in school history.
The former T.C. Williams High School standout is only the sixth back at Penn State to record a pair of 1,000-yard rushing seasons. Hunt rushed for 100 or more yards 15 times in his career, including eight century-breaking games in 2006 (all eight 130-plus yards). His 25 career rushing touchdowns are tied for eighth on the school's career list.