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Penn State Football: Shane Conlan Headed To College Football Hall of Fame

by on May 22, 2014 1:10 PM

Former Penn State All-America linebacker Shane Conlan, the leader of the Nittany Lions' 1985-86 defenses, has been elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.

The honor was announced Thursday afternoon.

"It's a great honor to join all the former Penn State players and all the great players in the College Football Hall of Fame," said Conlan in a news release. "It's very humbling. The list of nominees was such a distinguished group."

Conlan is the 18th Penn State player to be selected for the College Football Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will take place Dec. 9 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. Conlan is the 23rd member of the Penn State program inducted, joining 17 other former players and five Nittany Lion coaches. The most recent Penn State player chosen for the honor was running back Curt Warner in 2009.

"Shane was one of the greatest linebackers in our long and outstanding LinebackerU. heritage and we are thrilled for him," said Dave Joyner, Penn State Director of Athletics. "His intense, physical play and leadership were exciting to watch. Most importantly, though, is how he has conducted himself on or off the field; always with humility and class.

"His demeanor, drive and success after football serve as another example for all our student-athletes -- past, present and future. We are very proud of Shane and elated he has earned college football's most prestigious honor." 

Conlan led Penn State in tackles during the 1984 and 1986 seasons. He recorded 274 career tackles, which were tied for No. 2 on the Penn State list when his career ended. He remains No. 7 on the school tackle list.

Conlan made 186 career solo hits, which still rank No. 3 on the school list. (He held the solo tackles record for 20 years.) Conlan led the 1986 national title team (12-0) with 79 tackles, including a team-high 63 solo stops.

"The 1985 defense might have been better than the one in '86," Conlan recalled. "We all played together for so many years. We were a close, tight team that played for each other. We had great chemistry and liked and respected each other. There weren't any superstars on those teams; just a lot of really good football players that came together."

"The Penn State football family is ecstatic that Shane Conlan has been selected for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame," said Nittany Lion head coach James Franklin. "Shane is one of the primary reasons why so many people know about the unrivaled tradition of LinebackerU. Shane was a fierce, tough competitor and leader and we are excited that he is being appropriately recognized for his outstanding career with his enshrinement in the Hall of Fame."

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Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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