UNIVERSITY PARK – Penn State\’s glorious gridiron history is celebrated by a new commemorative issue from Sports Illustrated: Penn State – A Celebration of Nittany Lions Football.
Penn State was one of four institutions selected for a college football commemorative issue this year. The 80-page issue is available on newsstands.
Among the features in the issue are a review of the Top 20 Greatest Moments in Penn State football history, a profile of All-America linebacker Shane Conlan from his playing days, the Last Word by former Penn State standout Matt Millen and Rick Reilly\’s profile of Joe Paterno when the Hall of Fame coach was selected SI\’s Sportsman of the Year in 1986.
The issue also features a 2008 season preview, a photo essay on spring practice and the Blue-White Game and a feature story on the Nittany Lions\’ trio of standout wide receivers: Deon Butler (Woodbridge, Va.), Jordan Norwood (State College) and Derrick Williams (Greenbelt, Md.).
Penn State has made 12 appearances on the cover of Sports Illustrated during Paterno\’s legendary career, which includes being pictured for his selection as 1986 Sportsman of the Year. Penn State\’s most recent SI cover came on Nov. 28, 2005, when Paterno and All-America linebacker Paul Posluszny were featured after leading the Nittany Lions to the Big Ten Championship and a berth in the FedEx Orange Bowl.
The Nittany Lions have graced the cover of Sports Illustrated in relation to the nation\’s top ranking seven times, including Freddie Scott (1994), Joe Jurevicius (1997) and LaVar Arrington (1999) during the Big Ten era.
Among the other Penn State SI covers in relation to No. 1 were quarterback Chuck Fusina in 1978 and wide receiver Gregg Garrity, pictured after his diving touchdown catch in the 1983 Sugar Bowl that lifted Penn State to its first national championship.
Among the other Penn State personalities that have been featured on Sports Illustrated\’s cover are defensive back Darren Perry after the 1990 defeat of No. 1 Notre Dame and quarterback Todd Blackledge after a dramatic victory over Nebraska in en route to the 1982 national championship.
In addition, former Nittany Lion standout Franco Harris was a Sports Illustrated cover subject four times during his Hall of Fame career with the NFL\’s Pittsburgh Steelers.
The commemorative issue includes 10 of the SI covers featuring Penn State Football. Copies of all Penn State SI covers can be ordered at: SIcovers.com.
Penn State Football Eve will launch the 2008 season on Friday, Aug. 29, with activities starting at 6:00 p.m. outside Beaver Stadium. The program inside the stadium starts at 7:45 p.m. featuring the Blue Band, cheerleaders, dance team and videos. The seniors will be introduced and after Coach Paterno\’s address to the crowd, a new stadium video will be unveiled. The event and parking are free. Penn State opens its 122nd season on Aug. 30, hosting Coastal Carolina at 12:00 p.m. in Beaver Stadium. The contest will air on the Big Ten Network, the Penn State Sports Network and GoPSUSports, the official Web site of Penn State Athletics.
The No. 22 Nittany Lions return 35 letterwinners and 16 starters for Paterno\’s 43rd season as head coach. Penn State has won 31 of its last 40 games, tied for eighth-best record in the nation over that span.