With a couple more weeks left until we talk about the upcoming season -- Big Ten media days -- we’re scrambling for some actual football discussion. So, to borrow an idea from our pals at the Pac-12 blog, we’re putting together the “All-Century” teams for every Big Ten school.
These are the top lineups each team could field consisting of players who have played since 2000. Next up is Penn State.
QB Michael Robinson: He was the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in 2005 and led the Nittany Lions to an Orange Bowl after back-to-back losing seasons.
RB Larry Johnson: He averaged 7.7 yards per carry during his 2,087-yard season in 2002, the highest-ever average by a 2,000-yard rusher.
RB Evan Royster: Not only did he surpass 1,000 yards in three straight seasons, but he also holds the school rushing record for career yards (3,932).
WR Allen Robinson: He set the single-season receptions record in 2012 (77)... and then set it again in 2013 (97).
WR Deon Butler: The third-round NFL draft pick holds the school record for career receptions (179) and is second in receiving yards (2,771).
TE Andrew Quarless: When he wasn’t in JoePa’s doghouse, he was a defensive mismatch waiting to happen. He has a Super Bowl ring from the Green Bay Packers' 2010 season.
OL A.Q. Shipley: He became the first -- and, so far, only -- Nittany Lion to win the Rimington Trophy.
OL Levi Brown: A two-time All-B1G selection, Brown was selected No. 5 overall in the 2007 NFL draft.
OL Stefen Wisniewski: He was a 2010 All-American and has already started 77 career NFL games.
OL John Urschel: He might be the only two-time first-team all-conference selection who’s better known for his exploits off the field. He won the “academic Heisman” in 2013.
OL Matt Stankiewitch: A finalist for the Rimington in 2012, the Pennsylvania native never seemed to tire. He played more snaps his final two years than anyone else on the offense.
DL Tamba Hali: Not only was he a 2005 All-American and a finalist for several major awards, but Hali forced the key late-game fumble in the memorable 17-10 upset win over Ohio State.
DL Devon Still: He was the 2011 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, and his daughter won ESPN’s Jimmy V Award last year for her perseverance in the face of her cancer.
DL Jared Odrick: A two-time first-team All-B1G selection and 2009 All-American, Odrick was also named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year his senior season.
DL Michael Haynes: No Nittany Lion since 2000 has surpassed Haynes’ 25.5 career sacks. He was drafted No. 14 overall after his All-America season in 2002.
LB Paul Posluszny: He’s one of only two B1G players to win the Bednarik Award twice. He’s also a three-time all-conference selection, a two-time consensus All-American and a Butkus Award winner.
LB Dan Connor: A two-time All-American, Connor holds the school record for career tackles (419).
LB Michael Mauti: It’s close between Mauti and Sean Lee, but Mauti helped save the program in the face of unprecedented sanctions. He was also an All-American and the 2012 Butkus-Fitzgerald Big Ten Linebacker of the Year.
DB Alan Zemaitis: A three-time All-B1G selection, Zemaitis was a physical 6-foot-2 cornerback who earned All-America honors in 2005.
DB Adrian Amos: He started 37 career games and was versatile enough to switch between safety and corner. He was named to the NFL All-Rookie team this past season.
DB Justin King: He may have peaked early in his career, but King’s closing speed was still among the best Penn State’s ever seen at corner.
DB Anthony Scirrotto: The safety is the only Penn State defensive back in the 2000s to twice earn first-team All-B1G honors.
K Kevin Kelly: If Anthony Fera stuck around, this spot might look a little different. As it is, Kelly holds the school record for field goals made (78) and is among the program’s three most accurate kickers.
P Jeremy Boone: He holds the Lions’ top career punting average (43.1 yards) and boasts three of the program’s five best punting seasons.
KR/PR Derrick Williams: He didn’t have the highest averages of the 2000s, but Williams was always a home-run threat. He finished his career with five return TDs and more than 1,800 return yards.