No. 4 greatest player of Joe Paterno era: Shane Conlan (1983-86
- Career tackles: 274
- 2014 College Football Hall of Fame inductee
- 1986 Consensus First-Team All-American
Conlan was a great outside linebacker for LBU his entire career, but his greatest moment came in the 1987 Fiesta Bowl. With a national championship on the line, Conlan had eight tackles and two interceptions in the Nittany Lions’ win over Miami.
With Penn State trailing 10-7 in the fourth quarter, Conlan reeled in his second pick of the game and returned it 38-yards to the Miami five-yard line. That set up D.J. Dozier’s game-winning touchdown run.
Conlan had immediate success in the NFL after being drafted No. 8 overall by the Buffalo Bills in 1987. He was awarded the Defensive Rookie of the Year and made three straight trips to the Pro Bowl the next three years.