Sports

The Best Penn State Football Players of All Time 

Ranker College Football
Originally by
Updated May 22, 2020 24.2k votes 2.6k voters 50.5k views 100 items

List Rules Upvote the best Penn State football players based ONLY on their time at Penn State.

For years, Penn State was known as one of the great bastions of Northeastern football. Located in State College, PA, the school is known for having some of the greatest college football teams in NCAA history. Some of the best college football players of all time have emerged from the school that's nicknamed "Linebacker U."

The storied history of Penn State has resulted in national championships and a loyal, devoted fan and alumni base who proudly call themselves "Penn Staters." However, the players aren't slouches either. Franco Harris and Jack Ham are two Hall of Fame players who attended Penn State and were forces on the gridiron in both college and the NFL. In the 1990s, players like Kerry Collins, Ki-Jana Carter, and Kyle Brady bridged the program's success into the next generation, while the 2000s saw running back Larry Johnson carry the team to greatness.

Who are the best players in Penn State history? Well, that depends on who you ask. If you like hard-nosed, rugged football, you'll pick a defensive player. Though knowing Penn State's football history, if you like that brand of football, you may select an offensive lineman who paved the way for the team's star players to find success. 

This is the list of the best Penn State football players of all time. Vote or re-rank the list according to how you see fit. Feel free to add any Penn State players who aren't already listed below. Then head over and check out the best Penn State wide receivers ever.

list ordered by
1
Jack Ham is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Penn State Football Players of All Time
Linebacker from Johnstown, Pennsylvania

Age: 70

Teams: Penn State Nittany Lions football

More Jack Ham 

#57 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #20 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #9 of 155 The Greatest Linebackers of All Time

2
Franco Harris is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Penn State Football Players of All Time

Age: 68

Teams: Seattle Seahawks, Pittsburgh Steelers, Penn State Nittany Lions football

More Franco Harris 

#2,150 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #23 of 221 The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time #70 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever

3
LaVar Arrington is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Penn State Football Players of All Time

Age: 37

Teams: Washington Redskins, Penn State Nittany Lions football, New York Giants

4
Paul Posluszny is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Penn State Football Players of All Time
Linebacker from Butler, Pennsylvania

Age: 31

Teams: Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, Penn State Nittany Lions football

More Paul Posluszny 

#656 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #196 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #83 of 155 The Greatest Linebackers of All Time

5
John Cappelletti is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Penn State Football Players of All Time
Running back from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Age: 66

Teams: Los Angeles Rams, San Diego Chargers

More John Cappelletti 

#38 of 83 The Best Heisman Trophy Winners of All Time #20 of 28 The Biggest Heisman Busts of All Time #9 of 26 The Best College Running Backs of the 1970s

6
Curt Warner is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Penn State Football Players of All Time
Curt Warner Running back from Wyoming, West Virginia

Age: 54

Teams: Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams

7
Saquon Barkley is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Penn State Football Players of All Time
AidanBitterman added Saquon Barkley

Teams: New York Giants

8
Larry Johnson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Penn State Football Players of All Time
Running back from Pomfret, Maryland, Maryland, United States of America

Age: 36

Teams: Washington Redskins, Cincinnati Bengals, Penn State Nittany Lions football, Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs

9
Ki-Jana Carter is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Penn State Football Players of All Time
Ki-Jana Carter Running back from Westerville, Ohio, United States of America

Age: 42

10
Sean Lee is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Penn State Football Players of All Time
muzziac added Linebacker from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Age: 29

Teams: Penn State Nittany Lions football, Dallas Cowboys

More Sean Lee 

#345 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #161 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #75 of 155 The Greatest Linebackers of All Time

11
Kerry Collins is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Penn State Football Players of All Time
Quarterback from Lebanon, Pennsylvania, United States of America

Age: 46

Teams: New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts, Oakland Raiders, Penn State Nittany Lions football, Carolina Panthers, + more

More Kerry Collins 

#163 of 257 The Best Quarterbacks Of All Time #505 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #318 of 350 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

12
NaVorro Bowman is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Penn State Football Players of All Time
muzziac added Linebacker from District Heights, Maryland

Age: 27

Teams: San Francisco 49ers

13
Allen Robinson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Penn State Football Players of All Time
muzziac added Wide receiver from Detroit, Michigan

Teams: Chicago Bears

More Allen Robinson 

#745 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #77 of 147 The Greatest Chicago Bears of All Time #130 of 248 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time

14
Shane Conlan is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Penn State Football Players of All Time
Linebacker from Frewsburg, New York

Age: 51

15
Tamba Hali is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Penn State Football Players of All Time
Defensive end and Linebacker from Gbarnga, Liberia

Age: 35

Teams: Penn State Nittany Lions football, Kansas City Chiefs

16
Steve Wisniewski is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Penn State Football Players of All Time
17
Cameron Wake is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Penn State Football Players of All Time
muzziac added Defensive end and Linebacker from Beltsville, Maryland

Age: 33

Teams: Tennessee Titans

18
Mike Munchak is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Penn State Football Players of All Time
Left Guard from Scranton, Pennsylvania

Age: 58

Teams: Houston Oilers, Penn State Nittany Lions football

More Mike Munchak 

#405 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #82 of 129 The Best Pittsburgh Steelers of All Time #30 of 86 The Best NFL Players From Pennsylvania

19
Matt Millen is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Penn State Football Players of All Time
Linebacker from Hokendauqua, Pennsylvania

Age: 60

Teams: Washington Redskins, Oakland Raiders, Penn State Nittany Lions football, San Francisco 49ers

More Matt Millen 

#112 of 350 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame #53 of 155 The Greatest Linebackers of All Time #32 of 173 The Best Oakland Raiders Of All Time

20
Lydell Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Penn State Football Players of All Time
Running back from Salem, New Jersey

Age: 66

21
Lenny Moore is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Penn State Football Players of All Time
Running back and Wide receiver from Reading, Pennsylvania, United States of America

Age: 85

More Lenny Moore 

#81 of 221 The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time #241 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #23 of 148 The Best Indianapolis Colts of All Time

22
Blair Thomas is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Penn State Football Players of All Time
Running back from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Age: 48

23
Todd Blackledge is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Penn State Football Players of All Time
Quarterback from Canton, Ohio, United States of America

Age: 58

24
Michael Robinson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Penn State Football Players of All Time
Running back from Richmond, Virginia

Age: 36

Teams: Seattle Seahawks, Penn State Nittany Lions football, San Francisco 49ers

More Michael Robinson 

#1,425 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #4 of 30 The Best Penn State Nittany Lions Quarterbacks of All Time #16 of 34 The Best Penn State Nittany Lions Running Backs of All Time

25
Curtis Enis is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Penn State Football Players of All Time
Running back from Union City, Ohio

Age: 39

Teams: Chicago Bears