So I was reading over today's links, and I noticed an article that has become part of a growing trend: Ohio State fans attempting to make a claim to the Linebacker U title. Oh, OSU fans and their endless desire to "share" titles that rightfully belong to Penn State.
OK, so yes, during the early- to mid-'00s--which was a period of unprecedented success for OSU and unprecedented failure for PSU--OSU produced more quality LBs than PSU. Congrats to them on that and all. However, it was a short-lived period of superiority which has already come to an end; if you look at the draft classes from 2007-2010, PSU has gone back to blowing OSU out of the water both in terms of LBs drafted and their subsequent success in the NFL.
Looking back on our LB lineage got me thinking: when is the last time one of PSU's starting linebackers didn't go on to at least sign a free agent contract with an NFL team? It wasn't 2004--Poz, Connor, and Tim Shaw all ended up on NFL rosters. Do names like Gino Capone and Deryck Toles bring back horrible memories from 2003? Well, both went on to sign with NFL teams in the spring of 2004. Obviously not as many LBs from the Dark Years panned out, but like the Dark Years themselves, that was merely a brief hiccup in a long tradition of success that is very much alive and well today.
So, the question in the title still stands. Can someone with a little time on their hands check this out? I've gone back as far as the 2002 team and can't find a senior starting LB who hasn't gone on to the NFL.