Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Morelli signs with Cardinals

-Courtesy of Penn State University

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., April 29, 2008 – Two members of Penn State’s 2007 squad have signed with National Football League teams on the heels of a pair of Nittany Lions that were selected in the NFL Draft.

Wide receiver Terrell Golden (Norfolk, Va.) signed with the Philadelphia Eagles and record-setting quarterback Anthony Morelli (Pittsburgh) signed with the Arizona Cardinals. The signing of the two tri-captains brings the total of 2007 Nittany Lions to be drafted or signed to four, with other signings to be announced. The signings will be announced as NFL teams make their announcements.

Golden joins former Nittany Lion standout tailback Tony Hunt on the Eagles’ roster. Morelli will be reunited with former Penn State All-America tackle Levi Brown, who was the No. 5 overall selection by the Cardinals in the 2007 NFL Draft.

Golden was a consistently productive threat to make a big catch and run throughout his career. Playing in every game and earning seven starts in 2007, Golden made 30 receptions for 345 yards (11.5) and three touchdowns, tied for second-highest on the squad. During his career, he made 48 receptions for 735 yards for an impressive 15.3 yard average. He scored five career touchdowns with a career long catch of 56 yards.

Golden made a significant impact in the Nittany Lions’ 38-7 win over No. 19 Wisconsin. He and Morelli were locked-in, as the talented and determined Golden broke his career-high for receptions in the first quarter alone, making four grabs for 64 yards. He finished with five catches for a career-best 83 yards, delivering catches of 20, 18, 17 and 19 yards as the big Homecoming win unfolded. In the critical victory at Indiana, the athletic and hard-working Goldenb recorded four catches for 40 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown.

In the Valero Alamo Bowl win over Texas A&M, Golden hauled in a season-long 32-yard reception on third-and-20, taking the ball inside the Aggies’ 20 to set-up the go-ahead field goal just before halftime in the 24-17 win.

Golden was a frequent contributor to the Penn State Football Story this season with his spontaneous video interviews of his teammates. Golden earned his degree in August 2007.

The only Penn State quarterback to throw for 2,000 yards in more than one season, Morelli started all 26 games the past two seasons, leading the Nittany Lions to 18 wins, including bowl victories over Tennessee and Texas A&M, and a pair of Top 25 finishes. The former Penn Hills High School All-American finished his career leading or among the top five in numerous Penn State season and career passing lists, including:

* Season Passing Yardage (2nd, 2,651 in 2007)
* Career Passing Yardage (5th, 5,275)
* Most Passing Yards in a Half (231 vs. FIU in 2007)
* Most 2,000-Yard Passing Seasons (1st, 2)
* Season Pass Completions (1st, 234 in 2007; 2nd, 208 in 2006)
* Career Pass Completions (2nd, 460)
* Season Pass Attempts (1st, 402 in 2007; 2nd, 386 in 2006)
* Career Pass Attempts (3rd, 822)
* Season Touchdown Passes (T 4th, 19 in 2007)
* Career Touchdown Passes (6th, 31)
* Career 200-Yard Passing Games (T 3rd, 11)
* Season Total Offense (3rd, 2,638 in 2007)
* Career Total Offense (6th, 5,154)

Morelli completed the 2007 season with 2,651 passing yards, just 28 shy of the Penn State single season mark of 2,679 set by All-American Kerry Collins in 1994. He broke his own school season records, set in 2006, with 234 completions and 402 pass attempts.

A tri-captain, Morelli threw for 200 yards or more seven times this season (five vs. Big Ten foes) and is No. 3 in career 200-yard games with 11. This past season, he was 234 of 402 for 2,651 yards, with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Morelli had 37 completions of 20 yards or more in 2007 and led the Lions to eight scoring drives in the final 2:00 of the first half, including six in the last seven games.

Morelli is on schedule to earn his degree in May.

A pair of Penn State standouts were selected in the 2008 NFL Draft, increasing to 234 the number of Nittany Lions that have been drafted under Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno. All-America linebacker Dan Connor (Wallingford) was selected by Carolina in the third round and All-Big Ten cornerback Justin King (Pittsburgh), was selected by the St. Louis Rams with the second pick of the fourth round.

There were 31 former Nittany Lions on NFL rosters during the 2007 season, placing Penn State in the top 15 nationally among schools in producing current NFL players. Former Nittany Lions Jay Alford and Kareem McKenzie won Super Bowl rings with the New York Giants last season.

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