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Only Jim Nelson Until Penn State Football

...just 44 more days...

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Jim Nelson was part of some of the best teams in Penn State history, seeing significant time as a redshirt freshman in 1994 as part of the undefeated Rose Bowl-winning squad before starting for three straight years alongside fellow heralded linebacker Aaron Collins.

Nelson came to Happy Valley from California, and along with Collins and Brandon Short, his senior year formed one of the most formidable trios of linebackers in Penn State history--so much so that all three starters were named finalists for the Butkus award that year.

Despite being an integral part of Linebacker U, Nelson went undrafted in 1998--but in some ways, he had the last laugh. He spent nine seasons on NFL rosters, first signing with the Green Bay Packers before moving to rival Minnesota Vikings, then the Indianapolis Colts before finishing his pro career in Baltimore with the Ravens in 2005.