One of the founding members of Linebacker U was two-time All-American Dennis Onkotz. A Northahmptom High School graduate Onkotz was a consensus All-American linebacker for the Nittany Lions in 1968 and 1969, helping to create the Linebacker U moniker.
Onkotz was a defensive stalwart for the Nittany Lions in 1969 when they went 11-0. This was the first undefeated season for Joe Paterno during his tenure as Penn State’s head coach and one of two years that Joe Pa’s Nittany Lions should have been the national champions but politics got in the way.
During his time in Happy Valley Onkotz recorded 287 tackles and 11 interceptions. He returned 3 of his 11 interceptions for a touchdown and was even used as a punt returner, averaging 13.2 yards per return.
Onkotz was selected with the 72nd overall pick in the 1970 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. Unfortunately, Onkotz would play just 9 games for the Jets before suffering a career ending injury due to a severely broken leg.
Just five weeks until kick off!