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PSU in the NFL

Can’t spell Super without PSU: 3 Lions reach SB LV

Chris Godwin, Donovan Smith, Stefen Wisniewski

Penn State will have three alums playing in Super Bowl LV when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers face the Kansas City Chiefs. And a fourth former PSU player also is part of one of the teams.

Wide receiver Chris Godwin and left tackle Donovan Smith are heading to the Super Bowl with the Buccaneers. Both are key players for Tampa Bay, which is led by Tom Brady, who will be appearing in his record 10th Super Bowl and trying to win it for a seventh time.

Additionally, offensive lineman A.Q. Shipley is a member of the Buccaneers, but he’s on injured reserve and out for the playoffs.

Former Nittany Lion offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski will be playing in the Super Bowl for the Chiefs.

Penn State will be represented in the Super Bowl for the 50th time in the game’s 55-year existence.

With the three players in this year’s game, Penn State raises its all-time total to 113 appearances in the Super Bowl by former Nittany Lion football players. That ranks fourth all-time behind only Miami (122), USC (120) and Michigan (114). Former PSU lacrosse player Chris Hogan also appeared in three Super Bowls with the Patriots.

SUPER BREAKDOWN: The full list of PSU players who have appeared in Super Bowls, from Fan Nation

Godwin led the Bucs with five catches for 110 yards in a 31-26 win over the Green Bay Packers in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game.

In the second quarter, with the game tied at 7-7, Godwin dropped a pass over the middle from Tom Brady. But on the very next play, this happened:

Godwin’s tremendous catch on the 50-50 ball helped set up a touchdown that putt Tampa Bay up, 14-7. He finished off the game by running for a first down on a jet sweep in the closing seconds.

Godwin first showed his tremendous ability to catch 50-50 balls during his career at Penn State, particularly during the 2016 Big Ten championship season.

This incredible catch is from the Rose Bowl that season against USC.

Donovan Smith is in his sixth NFL season with the Bucs, and he’s been a starter since day one. He was Tampa’s second-round draft pick in 2015.

Shipley, who began his pro career in 2009, is in his first season with the Buccaneers.

Godwin and Smith weren’t the only Penn State products playing in the NFC title game. The third was Green Bay safety Adrian Amos, and he also had a good day with an interception.


The Chiefs came back from an early deficit to beat the Buffalo Bills, 38-24, in the AFC Championship Game. The Chiefs will be looking for a second straight Super Bowl title behind star quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Wisniewski is in his second season with the Chiefs. He will be looking for his third Super Bowl championship, the first coming with the Philadelphia Eaglesย  (LII) and the second last season with Kansas City.

Penn State also had an alum playing for Buffalo on Sunday in offensive lineman Ryan Bates. So even if the Bills and Packers would have won instead of the Buccaneers and Chiefs, PSU still would have been represented in the Super Bowl.

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Written By

Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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