Penn Staters in Super Bowl 54
Penn State football will be represented by five former players at Super Bowl LIV. Stefen Wisniewski and Jordan Lucas of the Kansas City Chiefs will challenge Robbie Gould, Kevin Givens and Anthony Zettel of the San Francisco 49ers for the Lombardi Trophy. Let's take a look at how their NFL careers have shaped up since leaving Penn State.
Stefen Wisniewski, G, Chiefs
In his ninth season after being drafted by the Oakland Raiders 48th overall in the second round of the 2011 NFL draft, the 6-foot-3-inch, 305-pound guard will attend his second Super Bowl. Wisniewski started as the Philadelphia Eagles left guard during their 2017 Super Bowl-winning season. Having played for Philadelphia (2016-2019), Jacksonville (2015-2016) and Oakland (2011-2015) in the past, this is Wisniewski’s first season in Kansas City. He’s been a regular member of the offensive line since Week 6, and the Chiefs have gone 10-3 since then. Wisniewski has played an important role, protecting the electrifying Patrick Mahomes.
Jordan Lucas, S, Chiefs
In his fourth season after being drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the sixth round (204th overall) of the 2016 NFL draft, Lucas appears to have found a home in Kansas City. In 24 games as a Chief, Lucas has recorded 39 total tackles, one sack and one interception. Lucas has become a young physical safety with a lot of potential for one of the best defenses in the NFL.
Robbie Gould, K, 49ers
The 37-year-old Gould has enjoyed a productive 15 seasons in the NFL. After going undrafted in 2005, Gould signed with the New England Patriots. As expected, Gould was released during the preseason due to the Patriots already having an established kicker in Adam Vinatieri. Following his release, Gould signed with the Baltimore Ravens but was cut once again. Gould decided to take a break from football but returned in October 2005 with the Chicago Bears, where he became the go-to guy. Ironically, Gould and Vinatieri met each other again in the 2007 Super Bowl, as Vinatieri’s Colts defeated Gould’s Bears. Gould called Chicago his home for 10 seasons until leaving to play for the Giants in 2016. Next, Gould signed a two-year contract with the 49ers, eventually receiving a four-year extension in 2019. In 45 games played with San Francisco, Gould has an 89.6% success rate on field goal tries, converting 95 of 106 attempts. Gould looks to win his first Super Bowl in his second trip to the big game.
Kevin Givens, DT, 49ers
The undrafted rookie has been given the chance of a lifetime. After attending San Francisco’s training camp last April, Givens signed with the 49ers’ practice squad. Givens would have to wait until December to be told he made an NFL roster after fellow defensive lineman Julian Taylor tore his ACL in practice. Givens finally played his first game in the NFL in Week 17 versus the Seattle Seahawks, recording one combined tackle. It’s a small sample size for a player who had a decent career at Penn State, and it’s unlikely that he’ll see much action in Super Bowl 54.
Anthony Zettel, DE, 49ers
In his fifth season after being drafted by the Detroit Lions in the sixth round (202nd overall) of the 2016 NFL draft, Zettel has found his fourth team in as many years. In 49 games played, Zettel has recorded 51 tackles and 7½ sacks. Before arriving in San Francisco near the end of the 2019 season, Zettel previously played for Detroit (2016-2017) with stops in Cleveland (2018) and Cincinnati (2019). It’s quite a change of scenery to be playing for the last-place team in the NFL, then packing your bags for the Super Bowl.
Jordan Hession is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Junior / Broadcast Journalism Minoring in History