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Quotes about Joe Paterno

In Joe Paterno on January 23, 2012 at 3:23 pm

“He died as he lived. He fought hard until the end, stayed positive, thought only of others and constantly reminded everyone of how blessed his life had been. His ambitions were far-reaching, but he never believed he had to leave this Happy Valley to achieve them. He was a man devoted to his family, his university, his players and his community.” — Paterno family.

“He was a tremendous teacher not because he knew all of the answers but because he challenged us to find the answers for ourselves. … His spirit will live on in all of us who had the great honor of knowing him and running out of the tunnel with him on so many autumn Saturdays.” — Paterno assistant and former Penn State interim head coach Tom Bradley.

“I’ve coached around 300 college games and only once when I’ve met the other coach at midfield prior to the game have I asked a photographer to take a picture of me with the other coach. That happened in the Citrus Bowl after the ’97 season when we were playing Penn State.” – South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier.

“Coach Paterno was far more than a football coach. He was a molder of young people, a teacher and a leader. He showed us all through the life he led that generosity, commitment, humility, respect and loyalty matter far more than wins and losses. We didn’t always understand his teachings at the time he shared them with us, but as we gained perspective we understood the significance of those teachings. Success with honor was more than a motto; it was a way of living, taught to all of us by an honorable, decent man. – Anthony Lubrano

“History will say that he’s one of the greatest. Who’s coached longer, who’s coached better, who’s won more games, who’s been more successful than Joe? Who’s done more for his university than Joe? You’ve lost one of the greatest. He probably means the same thing up there that Bear Bryant meant down here. He’s an icon.” — retired Florida State coach Bobby Bowden.

“The Penn State football program is one of college football’s iconic programs because it was led by an icon in the coaching profession in Joe Paterno. … To be following in his footsteps at Penn State is an honor.” Penn State coach Bill O’Brien.

“Penn State has lost its heart” Adam Taliaferro

“You could have become a good football player at many places but you wouldn’t have become the man you are if you didn’t go to Penn State.” — former Penn State running back Mike Guman.

“My first thoughts about Joe are not as a coach because he was well beyond that. He was an educator and a teacher. He taught lessons, some about football, mostly about life. He taught us how to treat others and how to conduct life. He did it with his life.” — former Penn State linebacker Matt Millen.

“We came to Penn State as young kids and when we left there we were men and the reason for that was Joe Paterno.” — Lydell Mitchell, a star running back at Penn State from 1968 to 1972.

“Joe’s legacy will always be intact because we won’t let Joe’s legacy die.” – Lydell Mitchell

“It’s just sad because I think he died from other things than lung cancer. I don’t think that the Penn State that he helped us to become and all the principles and values and things that he taught were carried out in the handling of his situation.” — Mickey Shuler, a Penn State tight end from 1975 to 1977.

“His influence on me personally was a lot more far-reaching than the playing field. … Coach Paterno should be remembered and revered for his 61 years of service to the Penn State community, the many games and championships he won, and the positive influence he was.” — Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny, who played at Penn State linebacker from 2003 to 2006.

“Coach Paterno had a great impact on my life, not only as a player, but as a person. He coached with an incredible amount of passion and integrity, and I am very proud to have played for one of the greatest coaches in sports. … You will never be forgotten.” – Sean Lee, Dallas Cowboys linebacker who played at Penn State from 2005-09.

“He believed in me as a competitive quarterback [and] he’s taken great care of me in all five of my years at Penn State,” “I am forever indebted to him and the Paterno family because they brought me in as one of their own.” “He was a man who taught us how to be men,” “He was very constant on making sure all of the players were responsible for all of their actions.” Daryl Clark

“I feel very honored and special to be a part of what he has done for the university,” Graham Zug

“As a parent, if you had a kid, you would feel comfortable and willing and you would want him to go to Penn State once you met coach Paterno,” Mickey Shuler Jr.

“I talked to him on his birthday (Dec. 21). He was a great man and a great friend. He lived by the rules. He made sure his players got good grades. He was about more than just football.” — George Perles, who coached against Paterno at Michigan State.

”When you think of college football and its tradition, you can’t help but picture those dark glasses, black shoes and plain uniforms that were his style and mark on Penn State.” — Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville.

“Whenever you recruited or played against Joe, you knew how he operated and that he always stood for the right things. Of course, his longevity over time and his impact on college football is remarkable. Anybody who knew Joe feels badly about the circumstances. I suspect the emotional turmoil of the last few weeks might have played into it.” – Nebraska athletic director and former coach Tom Osborne.

“I talked to him on his birthday (Dec. 21). He was a great man and a great friend. He lived by the rules. He made sure his players got good grades. He was about more than just football.” – George Perles, who coached against Paterno at Michigan State.

“(During recruiting,) Paterno was the only coach that didn’t talk about football. He talked about life and what life had to offer at State College. While I did not go there and went to Michigan State, he was the only coach to call me and wish me luck.” – former Michigan State wide receiver Nigea Carter.

“When you think of college football and its tradition, you can’t help but picture those dark glasses, black shoes and plain uniforms that were his style and mark on Penn State.” – Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville.

“We have lost a remarkable person and someone who affected the lives of so many people in so many positive ways. His presence will be dearly missed. His legacy as a coach, as a winner and as a champion will carry on forever.” – Urban Meyer, new coach at Ohio State.

 “Few people are responsible for building something that will last forever. … Coach Paterno was first and foremost an educator, whose immeasurable contributions to Penn State, the coaching profession and the entirety of college sports, will be felt permanently. That is the legacy of a great leader.” – Mike Krzyzewski, Duke basketball coach.

 “College football will be left with a major void because he has done so much for our game and for Penn State. … There will never be another Joe Paterno.” — Mack Brown, Texas coach

“What I remember about our days when we were both coaching is that Joe was very honest, he was a heckuva coach, and he was one of the outstanding coaches of all time. You can’t say that about every coach, but you darn sure can say that about Joe Paterno.” – Darrell Royal, former Texas coach

“We grieve for the loss of Joe Paterno, a great man who made us a greater university. His dedication to ensuring his players were successful both on the field and in life is legendary and his commitment to education is unmatched.” – Penn State board of trustees and university President Rodney Erickson.

“His legacy as the winningest coach in major college football and his generosity to Penn State as an institution and to his players, stand as monuments to his life. As both man and coach, Joe Paterno confronted adversities, both past and present, with grace and forbearance. His place in our state’s history is secure.” — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett.

Penn State Football All Time Team – Part 5

In Penn State All Time Team, Penn State Football on January 14, 2012 at 11:17 am

PART 5– Now that the Joe Paterno era of Penn State football has officially ended I wanted to have some fun and come up with my All Time Joe Paterno Penn State football team. There was actually a lot of thought that went in to this. I did a good bit of statistical research, used my long memory of Penn State football games and seasons gone bye and of course a lot of my opinion. I also tried to base my picks on their Penn State career and not their NFL career which leaves a few NFL Hall of Famers off the 1st Team. Please feel free to leave your comments. All positions can easily be disputed since there have been many great players to come through Happy Valley. I’ve even taken the liberty to add a few extra players because I couldn’t split the hair on who to pick. It was tough enough as it was. Part 1, I will pick the Offensive Line (5) and TE (1). Part 2, I will pick the WR (3) and QB (1). Part 3 I will pick the RB (3) and it was tough. Part 4 the DL (4), and DB’s (4) and Part 5 I will pick the LB’s (4), it was impossible and I may still change my mind at the last second, the kicker (1) and punter (1).  I’ve added a 2nd Team and an Honorable Mention list.

Although selecting the Running Backs was very difficult selecting the Linebackers was nearly impossible. I’m sure you will have comments and your own opinions. I’d take the 2nd Team and put it against the 1st Team and still have a great group.

Also, I have decided to have an additional article to cover the Kickers and Punters. That wasn’t as easy as I thought so I’m doing to separately. It also won’t take away from this list of Linebackers.

LET THE ARGUMENTS BEGIN!!!!

I have selected 4 LINEBACKERS on my 1st Team.

Dennis Onkotz: 2 Time 1st Team All American (’68 & ‘69), both teams were undefeated.  2nd Team All America (’67). Dennis was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. Onkotz was the original All American of what would become ”Linebacker U” under Joe Paterno.  Dennis ranks #6 on the All Time Career Tackles list with 287. This was accomplished in 3 seasons since freshman were not eligible at that time. An outstanding athlete Dennis was also the teams punt returner, returning 47 punts for an average return of 13.2 yards and 2 TD’s. He had one return for 71 yards that was not a TD. Dennis was a 3rd round draft pick of the New York Jets but his career was cut short by an injury.

Greg Buttle – 1st Team All American (’75). Arguably the best LB in PSU history. Buttle was a tackling machine. He was the all time tackles leader for over 30 years before he was passed by Paul Posluszny in 2006. He only played 3 seasons due to freshman being ineligible at the time. He holds the PSU records for tackles in a season with 165 and solo tackles in a season with 86. Buttle had individual games throughout his career with 24, 23 and 19 tackles. In 2001 he was awarded the Silver Anniversary Butkus Award for the 1975 season. Greg was a 3rd round draft pick of the New York Jets. He played in the NFL from 1976-1984.

Shane Conlan – 2 Time 1st Team All American (’85 & ’86). The leader of the 1986 defense considered one of the greatest of all time not allowing any opponents to score more than 19 points. Shane was the MVP of the 1987 National Championship Fiesta Bowl win over Miami. Conlan ranks #8th on the All Time tackles list with 274. He also ranks #7 in career tackles for loss. Conlan was selected in the 1st round of the NFL draft by the Buffalo Bills. He was selected NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He played in 3 Pro Bowls. He played in the NFL from 1897-1995. 

LaVar Arrington – 2 Time 1st Team All American (’98 & ’99). In his junior season, his last season, he won the Bednarik, Butkus and Lambert Awards. Possibly the finest athlete to ever play on the defensive side of the ball at PSU. LaVar is not in the Top 10 in all time tackles in a career or in a season. He does rank #8 in career QB sacks and #8 in career tackles for loss. LaVar was the 2nd pick in the NFL draft by the Washington Redskins. He and Courtney Brown are the only teammates ever selected as the top 2 picks in the same draft. He played in 3 Pro Bowls. LaVar played in the NFL from 2000-2006.

2ND TEAM:

Dan Connor – 2 Time All American (’06 & ’07). The All time Career Leader in tackles with 419 passing his teammate Paul Posluszney. He ranks 2nd in tackles in a season to Buttle with 145. His 4 year tackles totals were 85, 76, 113 & 145. Connor won the 2007 Bednarik Award. He had 18 tackles in one game against Ohio State in 2007. Dan was a 3rd round draft pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2008. He is still playing in the NFL.

Paul Posluszny – 2 Time All American (’05 & ’06).  He was only the 2nd 2 time winner of the Bednarik Award. He won the Butkus Award as well in 2005. Poz broke Greg Buttles 30 year record to become the all time career tackles leader in 2006 which was broken by teammate Dan Connor the next season. He’s the only Penn State linebacker to ever record 100 tackles in three consecutive seasons (2004-2006). His career consistency as a linebacker is second to none. His yearly tackles were 36, 104, 136 and 136. He recorded 22 tackles against Northwestern in 2005. Poz was a 2nd round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills. He is still playing in the NFL.

Jack Ham – 1st Team All American (’70). Elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. He teamed with Dennis Onkotz to lay the foundation for the legacy that would go on to become “ Linebacker U”. Ham was a three year starter who ranks #14 on the all time career tackles list. He only played 3 years since freshman were not eligible at that time. He is tied with Andre Collins for both Blocked Punts in a season with 3 and Most Blocked Punts in a career with 4. Jack was selected in the 1st round of the NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He played in 8 Pro Bowls and won 4 Super Bowls. He was selected to the NFL 75th Anniversary Team the 1990 All Decade Team and the Steelers All Time Team. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Andre Collins – 1st team All American (’89). Andre ranks #10 on the All Time Career Tackles List with 257. He is tied with Jack Ham for both Blocked Punts in a season with 3 and Most Blocked Punts in a career with 4. Collins career consisted of 2 seasons in which he played very little and 2 seasons that he was spectacular. He had 110 tackles as a junior and 130 tackles as a senior. He was a 2nd round draft pick of the Washington Redskins. He played in the NFL from 1990-1999.

 Honorable Mention:

Sean Lee, John Skorupan, Brandon Short, Jim Kates, Pete Giftopoulos, Brian Gelzheiser, Trey Bauer, Jim Nelson, Mark D‘Onofrio, Gary Gray, Ed O’Neil, Kurt Allerman, Lance Mehl, Chet Parlavecchio, Scott Radecic, Gerald Filardi, Navarro Bowman, Josh Hull, Charlie Zapiac, Don Graham, Mac Morrison, Jim Rosecrans, Trey Bauer, Brian Chizmar, John Ebersole, Phil Yaboah-Kodie, Jim Laslavic, Doug Allen, Ron Crosby, Rich Milot, Keith Goganious, Rich McKenzie, Reggie Givins, Josh Hull, Tim Shaw

There it is!!! How do you have a 1st Team that doesn’t include the top 2 tacklers of all time and an NFL Hall of Famer? I’m not sure either but that’s the way it worked out. The first two teams consist of 13 seasons of 1st Team All Americans and another 5 seasons on the Honorable Mention list. The Honorable Mention list is long due to so many great players that have been part of the “Linebacker U” legacy. What a tremendous group of players!!!

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