PSU players in the Super Bowl
This year’s Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams will feature two former Nittany Lions. With New England Patriots wide receiver Chris Hogan going up against outside linebacker Garret Sickels of the Los Angeles Rams.
Chris Hogan was born in Wyckoff, New Jersey and was a standout lacrosse and football player during his time at Ramapo High School. He garnered numerous all-state and national honors for both football and lacrosse, including 2006 Under Armour All-American recognition for his lacrosse play.
However, Hogan never donned the black shoes, basic blues and no name for Penn State football. Instead, Hogan would be excelling as a lacrosse player during his time in Happy Valley. After a great career at Penn State, in which he had three excellent seasons of lacrosse, Hogan decided to use his last year of eligibility to return to his native New Jersey and gear up for the Monmouth University Hawks football team. Despite not having played football since high school, Hogan had a decent season for Monmouth with 12 receptions for 147 yards and three touchdowns.
Hogan began training for the NFL draft after college, but he would go undrafted in the 2011 NFL draft. After being cut from the 49ers, Giants and Dolphins practice squads, Hogan finally found his home with the Buffalo Bills, making their active roster in 2012. Hogan finally had his big break in the 2014 NFL season, catching 41 passes for 426 yards and four touchdowns. He improved upon this performance up with another impressive season in 2015.
Entering the 2016 NFL season as a free agent, Hogan signed a contract with his current team, the New England Patriots. Hogan became a huge asset and integral part of the Patriots offense, emerging as one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets. In the 2016 playoffs, Hogan recorded 332 yards and two touchdowns through three games en route to winning Super Bowl LI against the Atlanta Falcons.
Now, after losing the previous year’s Super Bowl XXXIX to the Philadelphia Eagles, Hogan and the Patriots are back in the big game once again.
On the other side of the ball for the Rams is outside linebacker Garrett Sickels. Sickels, who like Hogan also hails from the Garden State, spent his time at Penn State playing in Beaver Stadium. Playing at outside linebacker, Sickels redshirted his first season in Happy Valley. After a quiet redshirt season freshman year that saw him put up modest numbers followed by an improved redshirt Sophomore year, Sickels broke out huge in his junior year, recording 47 total tackles and 6.5 sacks. Immediately following the 2016 season, Sickels declared for the NFL draft.
Sickels went undrafted in the 2017 NFL draft. He would then initially tryout for both the Colts and Browns, but failed to make their active rosters. However, he would make the Rams active roster in the 2017 season. But, before he could really see any significant action, Sickels was injured in August of 2018, ending his season and leaving him sitting on the sidelines for the Super Bowl.
David Saggio is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism, to email him contact firstname.lastname@example.org.