Penn State has a fabulous college football pedigree that has shown them to produce many great players and appear in many very important games. The quarterback is the position that gets the most notice on a team. How many quarterbacks from Penn State have gone on to be drafted into the NFL?
Milt Plum – 1957 – Browns – 2nd Round
Drafted by the Browns in 1957 out of Penn State, quarterback Milt Plum had a 13 year career in the NFL. He played his first five seasons with the Browns where he led the NFL in completion percentage in 1959, 1960, and 1961. He then played six seasons with the Lions. Plum then finished his career with one season with the Rams and a final season in 1969 with the Giants.
Al Jacks – 1958 – Rams – 10th Round
Al Jacks was drafted in the 10th round of the 1958 NFL Draft by the Rams. He never played in the NFL and would go on to serve as head football coach at Clarion State College from 1963 to 1981.
Richie Lucas – 1960 – Redskins – 1st Round
Selected by the Washington Redskins in the first round of the 1960 NFL Draft, Richie Lucas was also taken in the first round of the 1960 AFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. Lucas chose the AFL over the NFL, playing with the Bills from 1960 to 1961 and then appearing on the roster of the Broncos in 1962. Following his brief pro football career, Richie Lucas returned to Penn State and served as the school’s athletic director until 1998. He eventually was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1986.
Don Jonas – 1961 – Eagles – 13th Round
Don Jonas began his career at Penn State as a running back but would eventually play quarterback. He played just one game with the Eagles in 1962, would go on to play semi-pro football through the rest of the 1960s, and then play for the Argonauts, Blue Bombers, and Tiger-Cats over five seasons in the Canadian Football League in the beginning of the 1970s.
Pete Liske – 1963 – Eagles – 10th Round
Pete Liske was taken in the 10th round of the 1963 NFL Draft by the Eagles and the 15th round of the 1963 AFL Draft by the Jets. He chose to play with the Jets, but stayed with the team for just that one season. He then spent 1965 to 1968 in the Canadian Football League. Liske returned to America after that, playing for the Broncos from 1969 to 1970 and then the Eagles from 1971 to 1972. He finished his pro football career back in the CFL with both the Stampeders of Calgary and the BC Lions.
Jack White – 1966 – Colts – 8th Round
Jack White has gone down in history as the first player to score a touchdown for Penn State under legendary head coach Joe Paterno. He was picked in the 8th round by the Colts in the 1966 NFL Draft. He wouldn’t play in the NFL and instead would become a dentist.
John Hufnagel – 1973 – Broncos – 14th Round
The Broncos added John Hufnagel in 1973 by selecting him in the 14th round of the NFL Draft. He played two seasons in Denver as the third string quarterback behind Charley Johnson and Steve Ramsey.
Tom Shuman – 1975 – Bengals – 6th Round
Tom Shuman was a great on field leader for Penn State in the early 1970s, playing in some very big games. He would eventually be picked by Cincinnati in the 6th round of the 1975 NFL Draft. He didn’t end up making the team, but he did spend some time on the roster of the Philadelphia Bell of the World Football League and then three seasons with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL.
Chuck Fusina – 1979 – Buccaneers – 5th Round
Drafted in the 5th round of the 1979 NFL Draft, Chuck Fusina was highly rated at Penn State and ready to make an impact on the NFL. He played three seasons with the Buccaneers, followed by two seasons with the Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars of the USFL. He was named the MVP of the 1984 USFL Championship Game. He returned to the NFL in 1986 for a final year of pro football with the Packers.
Todd Blackledge – 1983 – Chiefs – 1st Round
Todd Blackledge was the 7th overall pick in the 1983 NFL Draft by the Chiefs. He stayed with the team from then until 1987. He then had two final NFL seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Tony Sacca – 1992 – Cardinals – 2nd Round
The Phoenix Cardinals selected Tony Sacca in the second round of the 1992 NFL Draft. He was with the team just that one season. He would later play with the Barcelona Dragons of the World League of American Football.
Kerry Collins – 1995 – Panthers – 1st Round
Kerry Collins was taken with the 5th overall pick in the 1995 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. He was actually the first player the Panthers ever drafted, as 1995 was their first year as a team. He had a 17 year career that saw him make two Pro Bowls and play for six different teams, the Panthers, Saints, Giants, Raiders, Titans, and Colts.
Wally Richardson – 1997 – Ravens 7th Round
The Baltimore Ravens made Penn State quarterback Wally Richardson their 7th round pick in the 1997 NFL Draft. He played just the one season in the NFL, attempting two passes, completing one, for a gain of just one yard.