Inside LB Countdown: Hull’s Career Notes

Penn State's Mike Hull, whose father played for the Packers, is one of the top tacklers in the history of "Linebacker U." (Matthew OHaren/USA TODAY)

A look at the career of Penn State ‘s Mike Hull, the eighth-ranked inside linebacker in this year’s draft, according to the NFL’s head scout, Dave-Te’ Thomas.


Hull started 23-of-48 games at Penn State – his final 13 contests at middle linebacker and his first 10 assignments at right outside linebacker…Recorded 294 tackles (159 solos) with 6.5 sacks for minus 40 yards, 21.5 stops for losses of 75 yards, four fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles, eleven pass deflections, two interceptions and two blocked kicks, advancing a blocked punt 14 yards and a fumble recovery 74 yards for a touchdown (vs. Navy in 2012).

NCAA Career-Record Results: Among active NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision players, Hull is tied with Mason Monheim for 30th place with 294 total tackles.

School Career-Record Results: Hull’s 294 tackles rank sixth in school history, topped by Dan Connor (419; 2004-07), Paul Posluszny (372; 2003-06), Greg Buttle (343; 1973-75), Sean Lee (325; 2005-07, 09) and Brian Gelzheiser (315: 1991-94).

School Season-Record Results: Hull recorded 140 tackles in 2014, tying Greg Buttle (1975) for fourth on the school annual record chart behind Buttle’s 165 hits in 1974, Dan Connor’s 145 tackles in 2007 and 144 stops by Shawn Mayer in 2002.



Hull was selected All-American second-team by the Football Writers Association of America, Fox Sports, Sporting News, USA Today and, adding third-team recognition from The NFL Draft Report and Associated Press…Named the Big Ten Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year, giving Penn State two of the four initial recipients (Mike Mauti, 2012), Hull also received All-Big Ten Conference first-team honors from the league’s coaches and media….The 2015 Senior Bowl participant was also selected his MVP and Outstanding Senior Player, as he became the 23rd Nittany Lion all-time to record 100 hits in a season…Selected Academic All-Big Ten for the fourth time in his career and he was among the seventeen Nittany Lions who graduated prior to the New Ear Pinstripe Bowl…

Also nominated for the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America team…The middle linebacker tied for ninth in the nation with an average of 10.77 hits per game, tying Greg Buttle (1975) for the fourth-best season by a Penn State defender with a career-high 140 tackles (75 solos) that included two sacks for minus 12 yards, 10.5 stops for losses totaling 28 yards, one fumble recovery, a forced fumble, three pass deflections and a 12-yard interception return…His average of 5.36 solo tackles per game ranked third in the league…Led the team in tackles during eleven of their twelve regular season appearances.


Made a team-high 11 tackles in the win over Central Florida that included a half-tackle for a loss…Registered a game-high 11 tackles, including a sack, with a pass breakup in the win over Akron and was the coaching staff’s Defensive Player of the Week…Led the team for the third-straight game with nine tackles in the win at Rutgers, as he helped hold the Scarlet Knights to no points, three first downs and 95 yards in the second half and record five interceptions in the game…Posted six tackles (five solo) and a forced his second career fumble, which was recovered by Austin Johnson to set-up a touchdown, in the 48-7 win over Massachusetts, as he helped a defense that held the Minutemen to three yards rushing, the lowest total allowed by Penn State since Notre Dame had zero rushing yards in 2007...Made a then-career-high 16 stops vs. Northwestern, surpassing his previous career mark of 13 tackles vs. Illinois on November 2nd, 2013. He forced the Wildcats to turn the ball over on downs at the Penn State 3-yard line with a stop alongside Trevor Williams on a fake field goal in the first quarter…Collected a team-best 11 tackles and one pass break-up at Michigan. Among the 11 tackles were a sack for a seven-yard loss, tackle for a three-yard loss and four stops for no gain…Dominated the defensive front for the Lions vs. Ohio State with a career-high 19 tackles, including 2.5 tackles for a loss (minus-7) and an interception. The 19 tackles were the most by a Nittany Lion in a game since Gerald Hodges had 19 vs. Illinois in 2011. He also hauled in his second career interception in the fourth quarter vs. the Buckeyes, returning it 12 yards into OSU territory to set up a Penn State touchdown to close the gap to three points. He made two stops on the final OSU drive of regulation to force a punt that led to a 19-play, 77-yard drive for the game-tying field goal with nine seconds remaining. That performance saw him be named the Reese’s Senior Bowl Defensive Player of the Week after helping hold the Buckeyes to 17 points and 256 yards in regulation, well below their season averages…Led a defense that held Maryland to 194 yards of total offense with nine tackles, including five solo stops, and his fourth career fumble recovery, as he helped the Nittany Lions hold a Big Ten opponent to fewest yards since Minnesota had 138 yards in 2009…Made a team-high nine tackles, including 1.5 for a loss, to lead a defense that limited the nation’s leading rusher, Tevin Coleman, to just 71 yards (162.5 avg) in the win at Indiana, as he helped a defensive unit that shut out the Indiana offense, as the Hoosiers scored their fewest points at home since 2006, via a defensive touchdown…Made a team-high 10 tackles to lead a defensive unit that limited Temple to just eight first downs, the fewest the Nittany Lions have allowed since Indiana State had eight in 2011…Added a team-high 10 tackles, including seven solo stops, and had a quarterback hurry as part of a defensive effort that held Illinois to just 68 rushing yards, becoming the seventh opponent held under 70 rushing yards…Started at outside linebacker on Senior Day vs. Michigan State, as he registered a team-high 13 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for a loss, with a pass break-up for a defense that held the Michigan State offense to 298 total yards, marking the first time all season that the Spartans were held to less than 300 yards of total offense…Made six tackles in the 31-30 overtime victory over Boston College in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. He captained a defense that limited the Eagles to just 16 first downs, including 5-of-16 on third down, and 97 yards passing in the game.


Hull started nine of the ten games he appeared in at strong-side outside linebacker, as he ranked fifth in the Big Ten Conference with 9.1 tackles per game in league and finished 11th in the conference for all games at 7.8 tackles per game…Missed the Eastern Michigan and Kent State games and seeing limited time vs. Syracuse and Central Florida due to a knee injury, but the junior was a stalwart for the defense, making at least nine tackles in six of the eight Big Ten games…Finished second on the team with 78 tackles, also ranking second with 44 solo stops…Made 4.5 tackles for losses of 17 yards that included 0.5 sacks, as he also forced one fumble, recovered a fumble and had two pass break-ups…Hull claimed his third Academic All-Big Ten honor.


Hull made his second career start in the season-opening win vs. Syracuse and made one tackle before suffering a knee injury in the first half…Returned to the field vs. Central Florida, posting four tackles (three solo) in limited action and registered his first double-digit tackles game of the season with 10 stops at Indiana, including 0.5 sacks…Followed with another 10-tackle effort in the dramatic four-overtime win over Michigan. In that game, he recorded two tackles for loss on the Wolverines' final drive of regulation, forcing a punt, and had a huge pass breakup in the end zone in the second overtime to help hold Michigan to a field goal…Tied for second on the team in tackles at Ohio State with nine stops…Hull's productivity continued to escalate, delivering a career-high 13 tackles to lead the team and all Big Ten players in the victory over Illinois. He also broke up a pass on fourth-and-one from the Penn State four-yard line early in the fourth quarter…Had nine stops (seven solo), including one TFL at Minnesota, followed by a six-tackle performance in the win over Purdue, as he also forced and recovered a fumble vs. the Boilermakers… Recorded nine tackles (four solo) in the home-finale with Nebraska, including a tackle on first-and-goal during a fourth-quarter goal line stand…Finished the season strong, making a team-high seven tackles (five solo) in the season-ending win at Wisconsin, as he led a defense that held the Badgers to 120 rushing yards, nearly 180 yards below their season average of 297.8 yards entering the contest.


Hull played in every game for the second straight-season, making his first career start vs. Wisconsin…After senior co-captain Michael Mauti was injured in the first quarter of the Indiana game, Hull took the field and responded by recording a career-high 11 tackles, with one sack, 1.5 tackles for loss and a pass breakup in the win over the Hoosiers…In addition to helping Penn State rank second in the Big Ten and 16th nationally in scoring defense (19.1 ppg), Hull saw action on all four punt and kickoff units…Finished sixth on the team with 58 tackles (34 solos), the highest total among the non-starters…Tied for third on the squad with four sacks for minus-25 yards and recorded five stops for losses of 27 yards, adding two fumble recoveries, including one for a touchdown, an interception, a blocked punt and four pass breakups…Hull made six tackles (four solo) vs. Ohio and had two solo stops, including a sack, at Virginia…Added five hits and alertly scooped up a fumble, returning it 74 yards for a touchdown, in the 34-7 win over Navy for Bill O'Brien's first career head coaching victory.


In his first season on the field, Hull played in every game on special teams and defense and was an immediate contributor…Totaled 18 tackles (6 solos) with 1.5 stops for losses of three yards and two pass deflections…Also blocked a kick…Earned Academic All-Big Ten honors.


Hull redshirted during his first season at State College.


2014 Season Did not participate in the jumping drills at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine due to a left knee sprain.

2013 Season: Hull left the Syracuse game after he made one tackle before suffering a knee injury in the first half…Returned to the field vs. Central Florida, but then sat out the next two games vs. Eastern Michigan and Kentucky to allow the knee to heal further.


Height: 5-11 7/8. Weight: 237.

4.68 in the 40-yard dash…1.60 10-yard dash…2.71 20-yard dash…4.15 20-yard shuttle…11.52 60-yard shuttle…6.99 three-cone drill…32-inch vertical jump…9’-02” broad jump… Bench pressed 225 pounds 31 times…30 1/2-inch arm length…9 3/8-inch hands…73 1/2-inch wingspan.

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