Linebacker Tourney: Buttle vs. Short

Welcome to the opening round of the FightOnState.com Penn State Linebacker U. Tournament, where we take the 16 greatest 'backers of the Joe Paterno era and have them square off in one-on-one battles (elections). We continue the tournament with a pair of tackling machines — Greg Buttle and Brandon Short — with the winner earning the right to face No. 3 seed LaVar Arrington in the second round.

The following profiles are provided by FOS and (where applicable) the Penn State Football Encyclopedia, which was written by PSU sports historian Lou Prato. Prato also handled the seeding for this tournament.

NO. 6 GREG BUTTLE (1973-75)

Buttle has enjoyed an amazing run as Penn State's career-leader in tackles (343), this even though freshmen were not eligible to play when he was a rookie at Penn State. So he set his mark in three seasons, including a monster junior campaign in which is established the school standard with 165 stops and a senior year when he had 140 tackles and was a consensus All-American. Had an amazing 24 tackles in a win over West Virginia in 1974. Buttle spent nine years in the NFL, all with the New York Jets.

NO. 11 BRANDON SHORT (1996-99)

Though he was overshadowed a bit by Arrington in his last two seasons, Short had an outstanding Penn State career of his own. Manning the middle linebacker spot, he paced the squad in tackles as a junior and senior, and finished his career as the sixth-leading tackler in school history (273). He was also an All-American in 1999, and won first-team All-Big Ten honors as a junior and senior. Short was a fourth-round pick by the New York Giants in 2000 and has had a solid NFL career with New York and Carolina. He is back with the Giants this season.

So who was the better Penn State linebacker, Buttle or Short? Cast your vote on our audibles board. Audibles Board.

You can also check out the entire 16-man bracket at this link.

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