UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — When the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers clash in Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3, Penn State again will be well-represented on the field and the sidelines in New Orleans.
A pair of former “LinebackerU.” standouts, NaVorro Bowman and Nate Stupar, played an instrumental role in helping San Francisco win its first NFC Championship in 18 years. Bowman earned All-Pro honors this season and Stupar is a member of the 49ers’ practice squad.
For the 42nd time in the Super Bowl’s 47-game history, at least one Penn State alumnus will be a member of one of the teams (16 times in last 18 years). Thirty-five former Nittany Lions have earned a total of 51 Super Bowl rings, most recently tackle Kareem McKenzie and defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy with the Super Bowl XLVI champion New York Giants. Tight end Andrew Quarless earned a Super Bowl ring with the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV.
In addition to the two former players, two members of the Ravens’ coaching staff – Jim Caldwell and Teryl Austin – are former Penn State assistant coaches and have coached in multiple Super Bowls. Two members of the Baltimore’s administrative staff also are Penn State graduates.
Nine former Nittany Lions were on the rosters of 2012 National Football League playoff teams, with at least one Penn Stater on seven of the squads who were vying for a berth in Super Bowl XLVII.
There were 30 former Nittany Lions with NFL teams at the end of the regular season, placing Penn State in the Top 15 nationally among schools in producing current NFL players.
The 49ers selected Bowman in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He was an Associated Press All-Pro selection for the second consecutive season and earned his first Pro Bowl berth during the 2012 campaign. During the 2012 regular season, Bowman was second in the NFL with 149 tackles. He also had two sacks, one interception, one forced fumble and seven pass breakups.
Bowman earned first-team All-Big Ten honors with the Nittany Lions in 2008 and 2009 and was a second-team All-American as a senior. A semifinalist for the 2009 Bednarik Award, the former Suitland (Maryland) High School standout was first nationally among all linebackers in TFL with a 1.55 average and was No. 7 nationally overall in minus-yardage hits. Bowman led the team with 17.0 TFL despite missing two games with an injury and was second on the team with 93 hits, good for No. 7 in the Big Ten in tackles per game. Bowman had three sacks, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and three pass breakups during the 2009 season for the Nittany Lions.
The Oakland Raiders selected Stupar in the seventh round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He was the seventh LinebackerU. product since 2007 to be selected in the NFL Draft. The former State College Area High School standout was cut by the Raiders late in pre-season camp and then was signed to the Philadelphia Eagles’ practice squad on Nov. 19 for the remainder of the regular season. Stupar was signed to the 49ers practice squad on Jan. 8.
Stupar started Penn State’s final nine games of the 2011 season and made 80 tackles to rank third on the team. He also recorded 5.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, two fumble recoveries and grabbed two interceptions, both coming in the win over Purdue. Stupar was selected one of the final 30 candidates for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award and was a four-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
A member of the Penn State coaching staff from 1986-92, Caldwell is in his first season as the Ravens’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Caldwell will be coaching in the Super Bowl for the third time in the past seven seasons. He was the Indianapolis Colts’ quarterbacks coach for seven years and was instrumental in the development of record-setting quarterback Peyton Manning. Caldwell helped the Colts win Super Bowl XLI and during his first year as head coach, led the Colts to Super Bowl XLIV.
Caldwell joined Joe Paterno’s Penn State staff in 1986 as wide receivers coach, and helped the Nittany Lions post a 12-0 record and win the National Championship. From 1987-92, he served as quarterbacks and passing game coach, helping develop Tony Sacca and Kerry Collins, the latter of whom led Penn State to a 22-2 record in 1993-94 and won the 1994 Maxwell and Davey O’Brien awards. Caldwell was named head coach at Wake Forest in 1993, coaching there for eight seasons before joining Tony Dungy’s staff in Tampa Bay in 2001.
Austin is in his second season as Baltimore’s secondary coach. Austin broke into the coaching ranks as a graduate assistant at Penn State in 1991-92 and then was hired by Caldwell as the secondary coach at Wake Forest in 1993. Austin also coached at Syracuse and Michigan before joining the Seattle Seahawks’ staff in 2003, helping Seattle advance to Super Bowl XL in 2006. He also was defensive backs coach at Arizona for three years, helping the Cardinals advance to Super Bowl XLIII.
Penn State graduate Marisol Renner is a publications and public relations specialist with the Ravens. Renner was a student assistant in the Penn State Athletic Communications office as an undergraduate. Also, the Ravens’ controller, Jim Coller, is a Penn State graduate.
A total of 329 Nittany Lions have been selected all-time in the NFL Draft, including 36 in the first round. In the 2012 NFL Draft, Penn State had at least four players selected for the 39th time in NFL Draft history.
Led by first-year coach Bill O’Brien, the Bear Bryant, Maxwell Football Club and ESPN Coach of the Year, the Nittany Lions posted an 8-4 overall mark and finished second in the Big Ten Leaders Division with a 6-2 record. Penn State won eight of its final 10 games. In the season finale, the Nittany Lions beat eventual Big Ten champion Wisconsin, 24-21, in overtime.
Season tickets are available for the 2013 season. The Nittany Lions will host three teams that finished in the 2012 BCS Top 25: Michigan (Oct. 12-Homecoming), Nebraska (Nov. 23) and Kent State (Sept. 21). Purdue, Illinois, Virginia and Eastern Michigan also will visit Beaver Stadium next year. The Nittany Lions open the season Aug. 31 vs. Syracuse at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing season tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, go to www.GoPSUsports.com or call 800-648-8269 (800-NITTANY) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.