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The Best All-Time Penn State Players from Pennsylvania Part I: Offense

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Jahan Dotson

Penn State has gotten two players from Pennsylvania to commit in the past 10 days, and the state celebrated “Pennsylvania Day” this week.

Now is a good time to look through Penn State’s best players that came from Pennsylvania, starting with the offense.

THE BEST PENN STATE QB FROM PENNSYLVANIA IS…

KERRY COLLINS (LEBANON)

Collins is arguably the best Penn State quarterback from any state, and he’s the pick for the best in-state product to play the position.

Collins had a rough start to his Penn State career, struggling at times, completing fewer than half of his passes in the 1992 season.

Collins made progress in 1993, getting his completion percentage above 50 and throwing 13 touchdown passes to 11 interceptions.

Any Penn State fan should know what Collins did in 1994.

Piloting an offense that is thought to be the best in Penn State history— the best in college football history, according to some— Collins completed 66.7% of his passes, throwing for 21 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Penn State went 12-0 that season— the last time the school has had an undefeated team— and Collins finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting.

Backups: Richie Lucas (Glassport), Chuck Fusina (McKees Rocks)

THE BEST PENN STATE RB FROM PENNSYLVANIA IS… 

JOHN CAPPELLETTI (UPPER DARBY)

A lot of people would probably pick Saquon Barkley for this spot, and it’d certainly be justifiable to do so.

If this mythical team played a season, Barkley would get his share of touches.

But it’s hard to keep Penn State’s only Heisman winner off many of the school’s “all-time” lists, and this isn’t an exception.

Cappelletti’s 1973 season and Heisman acceptance speech will be remembered as long as the Allegheny Mountains stand, and he’ll always be a Penn State icon.

Backups: Saquon Barkley (Coplay), Miles Sanders (Pittsburgh)

THE BEST PENN STATE RECEIVERS FROM PENNSYLVANIA ARE…

JAHAN DOTSON (NAZARETH), DEREK MOYE (ROCHESTER), LENNY MOORE (READING)

Dotson is the most recent and perhaps the most obvious starter.

The Nazareth native finished his college career last fall fourth on Penn State’s all-time receiving list and second to DeShaun Hamilton in receptions.

Moye is, in this writer’s opinion, an underrated part of Penn State history.

Despite the team having precious little stability at quarterback in his upperclassman years— the Lions didn’t even have a full-time starter for good chunks of 2010 and ‘11– the Rochester product finished his Penn State career third all-time in receiving, fourth all-time in touchdown catches and fifth all-time in receptions.

Some might be surprised by Moore’s inclusion as a receiver on this list, since he also spent a lot of time at running back, both in the NFL and especially at Penn State.

Moore’s receiving numbers in the pros— 6,038 yards, 48 touchdowns and 16.8 yards per catch over 12 seasons— combined with playing in the 50s and 60s before wide receivers became a big deal, makes me wonder what he could have done as a full-time receiver in the modern era.

For that reason, Moore made the cut.

Backups: Terry Smith (Pittsburgh), Chafie Fields (Philadelphia), Jimmy Cefalo (Pittsfield)

THE BEST PENN STATE TE FROM PENNSYLVANIA IS…

 TED KWALICK (MCKEES ROCKS)

It’s been more than 53 years since Ted Kwalick played his last college game. Only Mike Gesicki has more yards among Penn State’s tight ends.

That pretty much sums it up.

BACKUPS: Kyle Brady (Camp Hill) Jesse James (McKeesport), Micky Shuler (Harrisburg)

THE BEST PENN STATE OFFENSIVE LINEMEN FROM PENNSYLVANIA ARE..

 CHRIS CONLIN (PHILADELPHIA), AQ SHIPLEY (MOON), STEFEN WISNIEWSKI (PITTSBURGH), KEITH DORNEY (MACUNGIE), MIKE MUNCHAK (SCRANTON)

All five were from PA, and four were All-Americans.

Dorney and Munchak were first-round draft picks.

Shipley and Wisniewski are Super Bowl champions. Conlin won helped the 1986 Penn State team to a national championship. Dorney is a college football Hall of Famer and Munchak is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Not bad, eh?

That’s all for Part I. Penn State’s best defensive players from Pennsylvania will be talked about in Part II.

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