Penn Staters in SB LVI
The NFL is down to its final two — the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals.
Three Penn State alumni have the chance to win their first career Super Bowl. These three all played on the same team in Happy Valley, and now play together on the Rams’ defense.
Nick Scott, Safety
Following injuries to starting safeties Jordan Fuller and Taylor Rapp, Nick Scott, a backup safety, was called upon to start for the Rams. Since then, the former seventh-round pick hasn’t looked back.
Against the Buccaneers, Scott recorded his third interception of the season, jumping a sideline throw by Tom Brady. He added five tackles and two passes defensed during the victory.
In the NFC Championship game, Scott had four tackles against the San Francisco 49ers. His most notable play, though, won’t register on the stat sheet — a clean but punishing hit on wide receiver Deebo Samuel.
With Rapp in line to start against the Bengals, Scott expects to split time with Eric Weddle at the other safety position.
Troy Reeder, Linebacker, Los Angeles Rams
Troy Reeder only donned the blue and white of Penn State for his redshirt freshman year in 2015. After this, he transferred to Delaware, where he stuffed the stat sheet and earned numerous accolades with the Blue Hens.
His efforts helped him land on the Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2019, with 2021 being his most productive season in the pros.
Reeder earned the starting inside linebacker job part way through the season and has been a solid player in the center of the defense since. In his last game against the 49ers, Reeder was second on the team with eight tackles.
Viewers can expect to see the third-year linebacker early and often as a three-down player, as his Rams aim to stop a strong Bengals offense.
Grant Haley, Defensive Back
Best known for his legendary field-goal-block return touchdown against Ohio State in 2016, Grant Haley may play in the biggest game of his life on Sunday.
Haley got his start with the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent in 2018. In two years with the team, he started 12 games at cornerback, amassing 69 total tackles.
In 2020, Haley joined the New Orleans Saints practice squad. He made just one appearance as a backup defender, though still managed to claim his first career interception.
Come 2021, the 26-year-old spent time on both the Saints and Rams practice squad before being signed to the Rams active roster in Week 14.
Since the call up, Haley has been used mainly on special teams. He did collect three tackles in the Divisional Round against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, though.
Haley also sustained a quadricep injury in the NFC Championship game but is on track to play in the big game.
Sam Woloson is a first-year majoring in journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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