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December 1, 2021

The Steve Jones Show:

Four Former Lions on 2022 Hall of Fame Ballot

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State lettermen LaVar ArringtonPaul Posluszny and Steve Wisniewski have been selected as a part of the national ballot for the National Football Foundation’s College Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022. A total of 78 players and seven coaches from FBS are on the 2022 ballot.

 

The trio of standouts have an opportunity to join 19 former Nittany Lion players and five Penn State coaches who have been inducted into the Hall.

 

Also on the Hall of Fame ballot is former Nittany Lion student-athlete Glenn Killinger, who is among the candidates for the divisional coach Class of 2022. Killinger was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1966.

 

Penn State is one of only seven FBS schools to have the max number of nominees (3) make the 2022 national ballot. Additionally, Wisniewski has been on the ballot every year since 2010.

 

The announcement of the 2022 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be made in early 2022, with specific details to be announced in the future.

 

LaVar Arrington

Arrington, an outside linebacker for the Nittany Lions, was a first-team All-American in 1998 and 1999. A native of Pittsburgh, he was selected a first-team honoree by Sporting News in 1998 and by the Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association, Football Writers Association of America, Walter Camp Football Foundation, Sporting News and The Football News in 1999. He also was a second-team All-American choice of the Associated Press and The Football News in 1998.

 

In 1999, he was selected winner of the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker and Chuck Bednarik Award as the country’s top defensive player, while also being a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award. The 12th Nittany Lion selected a two-time first-team All-American, Arrington finished ninth in balloting for the 1999 Heisman Trophy. Was the first sophomore selected Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in 1998. In 1999, he made 72 tackles, with 20 TFL, nine sacks, one interception, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries (one TD) and two blocked kicks. His leaping tackle over the offensive line of an Illinois runner was selected the 1998 Compaq Defensive Play of the Year.

 

Arrington was selected by the Washington Redskins as the second overall pick of the 2000 NFL Draft and played with the Redskins (2000-05) and the New York Giants (2006), earning Pro Bowl honors in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

 

Paul Posluszny

Posluszny, an outside linebacker for the Nittany Lions, was a first-team All-American in 2005 and 2006. A native of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, he was selected a first-team honoree by the Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America, Sporting News and Walter Camp Football Foundation in 2005 and the Associated Press and Walter Camp Football Foundation in 2006. Posluszny became just the second two-time winner of the Chuck Bednarik Award, presented to the nation’s top defensive player, in 2006. In 2005, he also won the Butkus Award, presented to the nation’s top linebacker and was a finalist for the 2006 honor.

 

The 13th Nittany Lion to be named a two-time first-team All-American, Posluszny also was a two-time finalist for the Rotary Lombardi Award. He was selected Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week a conference-record five times in his career. The Nittany Lions’ first two-time team captain since 1968-69, he became Penn State’s career tackle leader with 372.

 

A starter in the last 37 games of his career, Posluszny became the first Nittany Lion to lead the team in tackles three times and to post three 100-tackle seasons, recording 116 in 2006. 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 and Jeff Hartings (1994-95) are the only Nittany Lions to earn first-team All-America and Academic All-America honors twice. The Buffalo Bills’ second pick of the second round in the 2007 NFL Draft, he played four seasons (2007-10) with the Bills and seven seasons for the Jacksonville Jaguars (2011-17).

 

Steve Wisniewski

Wisniewski was a three-year starter at guard for the Nittany Lions who would go on to become an All-Pro lineman in the NFL. He was one of two sophomores to start on the 1986 National Championship team and he opened holes for two first-team All-America running backs, Blair Thomas (1987) and D.J. Dozier (1986). One of just four Penn State offensive linemen to earn a pair of first-team All-America honors, he was recognized in 1988 by the American Football Coaches (AFCA) and repeated All-America accolades from Sporting News. A 1988 team captain, Wisniewski is one of just two offensive linemen to earn Penn State’s team MVP honor since its creation in 1978.

 

From Westfield High School in Houston, Wisniewski was the first pick in the second round of the 1989 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys, who immediately traded his rights to the Los Angeles Raiders. Wisniewski was a mainstay for the Raiders from 1989-2001, starting the final 175 games of his career. He was selected to the Pro Bowl eight times, with six first-team All-Pro selections. He was elected a Raiders team captain seven times, was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 1990’s and to Oakland’s 50-Year All-Raider Team. Wisniewski missed only two of a possible 208 career games.

 

Wisniewski’s older brother, Leo, was a standout defensive lineman for the Nittany Lions from 1979-81. His nephew, Stefen, was a three-year starter on Penn State’s offensive line, earning first-team All-America honors in 2010. He became the first Nittany Lion to earn Academic All-America honors three times and was selected by the Raiders in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

 

Glen Killinger

From Harrisburg, Killinger was a Walter Camp All-American at quarterback for the Nittany Lions in 1921. He coached at Dickinson (1922), Rensselaer (1927-32), Moravian (1933) and West Chester (1934-41, 45-59). Killinger is the winningest coach in West Chester history and is a member of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. He died in 1988.

 

The 2022 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted during the 64th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 6, 2022, and permanently immortalized at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. They will also be honored at their respective schools with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments, during the 2022 season.

 

The criteria for Hall of Fame consideration include:

 

  • First and foremost, a player must have received First-Team All-America recognition by a selector that is recognized by the NCAA and utilized to comprise its consensus All-America teams.
  • A player becomes eligible for consideration by the Foundation’s Honors Courts 10 full seasons after his final year of intercollegiate football played.
  • While each nominee’s football achievements in college are of prime consideration, his post-football record as a citizen is also weighed. He must have proven himself worthy as a citizen, carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community. Consideration may also be given for academic honors and whether the candidate earned a college degree.
  • Players must have played their last year of intercollegiate football within the last 50 years.* For example, to be eligible for the 2022 ballot, the player must have played his last year in 1972 or thereafter. In addition, players who are playing professionally and coaches who are coaching on the professional level are not eligible until after they retire.
  • A coach becomes eligible three full seasons after retirement or immediately following retirement provided he is at least 70 years of age. Active coaches become eligible at 75 years of age. He must have been a head football coach for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage.
  • Nominations may only be submitted by the current athletics director, head coach or sports information director (SID) of a potential candidate’s collegiate institution. Nominations may also be submitted by the president/executive director of a dues-paying chapter of the National Football Foundation.

 

The 2021 Penn State Football season is presented by PSECU.

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