Tourney: Arrington vs. Buttle

The second round of our tournament continues with Greg Buttle taking on LaVar Arrington. Will form hold as it did in the first round, where all of the higher seeds won? Or will the quarterfinals feature their share of upsets? You make the call by voting.

Welcome to the quarterfinals of the Linebacker U. Tournament, where we endeavor (with your help) to name the best linebacker of the Joe Paterno era at Penn State.

We continue the second round with 1970s star and tackling machine Greg Buttle facing off with late 1990s superstar LaVar Arrington.

The seedings and most of the background information for this tournament came from Penn State sports historian Lou Prato, who wrote the “Penn State Football Encyclopedia.” The FOS staff added to the player bios where needed.

You can cast your vote for the competition in the poll on our Audibles Message Board. Click here to find it.

Here are the participants in this showdown:


An amazing, if brief, Penn State career helped Arrington “leap” toward the top of the seedings for this tournament. The Pittsburgh native won the Butkus and Bednarik Awards as a junior in 1999 (the first Lion to capture either). He was also named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year that same season. He opted for early entry into the NFL Draft and was the second overall pick in 2000. Arrington inexplicably saw little game action as a true freshman at Penn State, but still finished his short career with 163 tackles, 39 tackles for loss and 19 sacks. Perhaps the best all-around athlete on this list (or in the history of the program, regardless of position), he receives demerits for never playing on a team that contended for a national title.

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.

See The Entire Bracket Here.


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