Penn State has 18 former players in the National Football Foundation’s College Hall of Fame — and a Nittany Lion or two might be added to that group in 2018.
Penn State legends Kerry Collins and Steve Wisniewski have been selected for the national ballot of the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018. The quarterback and offensive lineman are two of 75 players on the ballot.
Glenn Killinger, a former Nittany Lion who was inducted as a player in 1966, is also on the ballot, among the candidates for divisional coach.
The announcement of the class will be made on Jan. 8, 2018, in Atlanta — the day of the College Football Playoff National Championship.
Penn State linebacker Shane Conlan is the most recent Nittany Lion to be enshrined, entering the Hall in 2014.
Collins has a strong case to be the next Penn State inductee. He led the Nittany Lions to a 40-9 record from 1991-94 — but it was his final season that most remember.
Collins drove the nation’s most prolific offense (47.8 points per game) to a 12-0 record in 1994, finishing No. 2 in the country behind Nebraska. The signal-caller was the 1994 Maxwell Award recipient and Davey O’Brien Award winner after leading the Big Ten in passing yards (2,679) and passing efficiency (172.96).
Collins finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1994. Nittany Lion running back Ki-Jana Carter was second.
Like Collins, Wisniewski was a first-team All-American. The offensive guard was a three-year starter at Penn State and one of two sophomores to start on the 1986 National Championship team.
Wisniewski opened holes for first-team All-American running backs Blair Thomas and D.J. Dozier — and that translated into a successful NFL career. The lineman was an eight-time Pro-Bowler and was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 1990s.
OTHER PSU NOTES
Barkley to be featured on ESPN's Sport Science: ESPN’s Sport Science segments quantify ability in quirky comparisons, showcasing freak athletes — Odell Beckham Jr., Kevin Durant and Ray Lewis to name a few.
Add Penn State running back Saquon Barkley to that list.
Barkley, the Heisman-contending running back capable of breaking ankles and dusting defenders, will be featured on Sport Science at some point in the foreseeable future.
When exactly, we’re not sure.
But Barkley was going through drills with Sport Science host John Brenkus on Wednesday, and one could only imagine what Barkley’s speed and agility will be compared to.
We can safely assume he won’t be taking a bowl of Skittles to the face a la Marshawn Lynch — but whatever Barkley’s appearance entails, it’ll be interesting to say the least.
More 2017 kickoff times set: Kickoff times for Penn State’s much-anticipated matchups between Pittsburgh and Ohio State, along with a couple more games, are set — so plan accordingly.
The Nittany Lions’ Sept. 9 home game against the Panthers will kick at 3:30 p.m. on ABC, according to a Wednesday release by the Big Ten Conference and its TV partners, ESPN and Fox. It’ll be the first time Penn State is hosting Pitt since 1999.
As for Penn State’s biggest road game of the season, the Nittany Lions avoid a primetime slot on Oct. 28 at Ohio Stadium. They’ll face the Buckeyes at 3:30 p.m. on Fox.
Two other kick times were announced, as well. Penn State’s Homecoming game on Nov. 11 against Rutgers will kick at noon, and so will the Nittany Lions’ Oct. 7 contest at Northwestern.
Television coverage has not been decided for those two games.
After Wednesday, five of Penn State’s 12 contests in 2017 have kickoff times. It was announced last week that Penn State’s season opener on Sept. 2 against Akron is also a noon kick.
Of course, plenty of Nittany Lion fans will be looking past the Zips and on to Pitt — and now they know when to show up.