Trigger warning - this post may cause feelings of old age.
My first season following Penn State football was 2005. As you're no doubt aware, that team was amazing. They reinvigorated a program whose growth had stunted and if I'm any indication, they got a new generation of fans hooked on Nittany Lion football.
Anyway, enough with the sap. Perhaps the 2005 team's biggest strength behind the front seven was its offensive line. You know how the 2014 Lions gave up 44 sacks? Opponents recorded just 14 sacks in 12 games against that 2005 line, led by first-team all Big Ten and second-team All-American Levi Brown. That line, teamed with an outstanding young trio of wideouts, helped future NFL fullback Michael Robinson finish fifth in the Heisman voting. Goes to show that a little protection goes quite a long way.
Brown went on to get selected fifth overall by the Arizona Cardinals in 2007 and start 79 of the 81 games he played at football's highest level. He most recently played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who acquired Brown in a trade in October 2013 and released him the following March. At 31 years of age he's probably capable of squeezing out a few more years of football, but if not he's got a couple of Penn State degrees to fall back on.
Only 67 days until Penn State football.