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Only Sean Lee Until Penn State Football

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45 days!

Ohio State v Penn State Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Before finishing his fifth playing NFL season sixth in the league in tackles (behind former teammates NaVorro Bowman and Paul Pozluszny, natch), Sean Lee was the Next Big Thing at Linebacker U—even after he tore his ACL in the spring before what was supposed to be his senior year.

He turned that into being essentially another coach on the sidelines for PSU’s 2008 Big Ten-winning season, and parlayed his Nittany Lion finale season into a delayed 2009 campaign that saw him team with a now-Pro Bowling Bowman, capped off with a Capitol One Bowl win over LSU.

Lee was a running back slash safety and two sport star out of Upper St Clair High School outside Pittsburgh, a three-star outside linebacker who barely cracked the top 25 in-commonwealth players in the 2005 recruiting class. He turned that into a prolific PSU career, twice second team All-Big Ten and a team captain.

In the 2010 draft, Lee was taken in the 2nd round (55th overall) by the Dallas Cowboys. He’s been somewhat injury plagued in Texas but still productive, more often than not the team’s defensive leader. He started no games his rookie campaign (playing in fourteen) but parlayed that into starting all fifteen his second season in; he then got injured halfway through his third season, then played most of 2013 before sitting out all of 2014. Last season saw him return almost to form, playing (and starting) fifteen games for the Cowboys.