Former Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford has been selected by the Green Bay Packers in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Not many people guaranteed that Clifford would hear his name called this weekend.
Clifford has been long thought to be a fringe NFL player, and his selection is sure to have some Penn State fans shaking their heads.
There haven’t been many players in Penn State history as polarizing as Clifford. He was Penn State’s starter for four seasons, which gave him plenty of time to make fans cheer and jeer. There was a lot of good to come from Clifford’s Penn State career.
Clifford holds school records for career passing yards (10,661), passing touchdowns (86), completions (833), passing attempts (1,356), and completion percentage (61.4 percent).
Seven Penn State players received invites to last month’s NFL Combine.
None of them played quarterback.
Sean Clifford started at football’s most important position for one of the college game’s most prominent programs for four seasons and didn’t get the invite.
Clifford didn’t feel he deserved to be left out.
“I feel like I was snubbed at the combine for sure,” Clifford told reporters at Penn State’s Pro Day late last month in Holuba Hall. “The body of work I’ve had with these teams here. When I didn’t see my name as a combine guy, I felt disrespected for sure. But hey, it’s just more fuel to the fire.”
The legacy of Sean Clifford at Penn State is polarizing from a fan/media standpoint, but not for coach James Franklin and the program.
“He’s really represented our university and our football program the right way, both on and off the field, in his entire career,” Franklin said last December, “and he’s been doing it for a long time.
“He’s maximized that entire experience,” Franklin said. “He’s maximized it as a student, as a student-athlete. He’s going to go on and be a very, very successful businessman after his football career is done, and he’s done it the right way, and he’s done it with class.
“I’m happy for him. I’m proud of him.”