LB Tournament: Conlan vs. Posluszny

The first three semifinalists have advanced in the FOS Penn State Linebacker U. Tournament, with No. 1 seed Jack Ham, No. 2 seed Dennis Onkotz and No. 3 seed LaVar Arrington all getting the job done. Who will fill out the fourth spot on the dance card? Find out in this monster matchup between Shane Conlan and Paul Posluszny.

Shane Conlan starred in the mid-1980s, leading the Nittany Lions to a pair of national title games and one championship before enjoying a long NFL career. Paul Posluszny still has a season to go in Happy Valley, and once that is behind him may well be considered the greatest linebacker in school history.

For now though, he must take on Conlan for a chance to stay alive in the tournament.

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. 4 SHANE CONLAN (1983-86)

Conlan posted great numbers in his career (274 tackles, including a school-record 186 solos) and was at his best in the biggest games. In the '85 national championship game against Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, Conlan spied Sooner QB Jamelle Holieway, limiting the explosive runner to one yard rushing. In the 1986 title tilt vs. Miami in the Fiesta Bowl, Conlan brushed aside a first-quarter knee injury and third-quarter ankle injury to post a monster game (eight tackles, two interceptions). He returned one pick 38 yards to set up D.J. Dozier's game-winning touchdown. A first-round draft pick by Buffalo in 1987, Conlan spent six season with the Bills, making the Pro Bowl and three Super Bowls, before finishing his pro career by playing two seasons for the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams.

NO. 5 PAUL POSLUSZNY (2003-2005)

No less an authority than tournament top seed Jack Ham has called Posluszny the best linebacker ever to play at Penn State. And with a full season remaining, he has every chance to cement that title in 2006. Already a two-year starter, Posluszny should easily overtake Greg Buttle as the program's career tackles leader. He won the Butkus Award and Bednarik Award as a junior, when he was a consensus All-American. He was also Penn State's first junior captain since 1968 and has a chance to become only the second player (joining Jeff Hartings) to capture first-team All-America and first-team Academic All-America honors in consecutive seasons.

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