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Penn State Football

Sean Clifford Makes Regular-Season NFL Debut

Sean Clifford Rose Bowl
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02: Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford (14) celebrates during the Rose Bowl game between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Utah Utes on January 2, 2023 at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire)

Former Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford has made his regular-season NFL debut.

Clifford, now a Packer, appeared on the last possession of Green Bay’s 38-20 season-opening win over the rival Bears in Chicago.

This is a milestone for the “Big Red Dog.”

Clifford was at Penn State for six seasons and was the team’s starting QB for four. He became a polarizing figure amongst Penn State fans by the end of his career. He was the team’s main QB during an 11-11 stretch over the 2020 and ‘21 seasons, and many fans put some of the blame on Clifford. But Clifford ended his time at Penn State with school records in categories such as completions, yards and touchdown passes. Clifford didn’t get to throw any passes in his NFL debut, but he was out there.

Clifford has been long thought to be a fringe NFL player, and his selection by Green Bay in the fifth round of this year’s draft was sure to have some Penn State fans shaking their heads.

Seven Penn State players received invites to March’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 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.”

Now, Clifford can forever say that he played in an NFL game that counted.

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