Linebacker Tourney: Collins vs. Skorupan

Welcome to the opening round of the 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 1980s standout Andre Collins taking on early 1970s star John Skorupan. The winner gets No. 2 seed Dennis Onkotz in the next 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. 7 ANDRE COLLINS (1986-89)

The first (and best) of five brothers who played for the Nittany Lions, Collins began his career as a safety but matured into one of the nation's best linebackers. A team captain as a senior in 1989, he tied Jack Ham's record for blocked kicks in a season (three) to go along with 130 tackles. Collins was a first-team All-American and one of five finalists for the Butkus Award as a senior. Collins finished his career with 257 tackles, sixth on the school list. He spent a decade in the NFL with Washington, Cincinnati and Chicago. NO. 10 JOHN SKORUPAN (1970-72)

Overshadowed by 'backers from his era such as Jack Ham and Dennis Ontkotz, Skorupan was part of the wave of players at the position who helped Penn State establish its reputation as “Linebacker U.” He finished his career with 274 tackles, tied with Shane Conlan for fourth on the school's all-time list. He was a first-team All-American in 1972 and was a sixth-round pick of Buffalo in the 1973 NFL Draft. He played for the Bills and New York Giants before retiring in 1980.

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