Former Penn State walk-on Carl Nassib, a defensive end, continued his rise when he was drafted in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. At 65th overall, Nassib became the third Nittany Lion taken Saturday evening.
“His amazing story of going from walk-on to Lombardi Award winner to Penn State graduate to NFL Draft pick is unprecedented,” Penn State head coach James Franklin said in a statement. “His productivity and tremendous measurables will serve him well at the next level. The sky’s the limit for Carl, and there will not be anyone that will outwork him.”
Nassib, the 13th unanimous consensus All-American in program history, finished his senior campaign with 15.5 sacks and 46 total tackles. (For comparison, the entire Browns defense had 29 sacks last season.) The senior defensive end will look to make an immediate impact with Cleveland right out of training camp.
As a high school football player, Nassib wasn’t a highly sought after prospect, which resulted in him going to Penn State as a walk-on. After sitting on the bench for two seasons, Nassib saw game action in 2013, a year in which he was named to the Academic All-Big Ten team. In his sophomore season, the defensive end from West Chester, PA, saw action in 10 games, accumulating 12 tackles and one sack.
Nassib followed up his sophomore season with another Academic All-Big Ten nod as a junior, racking up seven tackles and one sack while appearing in all 13 games for the Nittany Lions.
His senior season, Nassib was the direct beneficiary of teams avoiding rushing to Anthony Zettel’s side of the defensive line, and Nassib burst on to the national scene with 15.5 sacks. Earning his first career start against Temple, Nassib was rarely off the field when the Nittany Lions were on defense. With a breakout senior season, Nassib wouldn’t just take home Academic All-Big Ten honors; the honors and accolades poured in for the redshirt senior, including:
-Ted Hendricks Award
-Lott IMPACT Trophy
-CBS Sports National Defensive Player of the Year
-First-team All-American (ESPN.com, SI.com, CBS Sports and Athlon sports)
-Big Ten’s Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year
-First team All-Big Ten (voted on by media and coaches)
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