UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.;
April 12, 2008 – Penn State standout linebacker Sean Lee
(Pittsburgh) suffered a serious knee injury in practice Friday that will likely
sideline him for the 2008 season.
A probable All-America candidate, Lee tore the
anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, according to Dr. Wayne
Sebastianelli, Penn State Director of Athletic Medicine. Lee will have surgery
within the next 2-4 weeks and rehabilitation will take approximately nine
months, according to Sebastianelli.
A rising senior, Lee played as a true freshman
in 2005 and has a redshirt year available.
have a responsibility to the team to help do everything I can this year in what
might be a non-conventional way,” Lee stated.“I have to turn this into a positive. It's a bump in the road. I'm
excited about the team we have and the kind of season we can have. It's a great
opportunity for a young guy."
A first team Class AAAA all-state selection
from Upper St. Clair High School, Lee was coming off a superlative junior
season, earning 2007
first-team All-America honors from Pro Football Weekly. The vastly talented,
instinctive and intelligent Lee ranked second in the Big Ten with 138 tackles
last year, trailing only teammate Dan Connor, and giving Penn State just its
third pair of century-busting tacklers since tackle records began being kept in
A two-time Big Ten Defensive Player-of-the-Week honoree in 2007, Lee
earned second-team all-conference honors in a league that featured two of the
three finalists for the Butkus Award. His 138 tackles were No. 5 on the school
season list. He has 239 career stops, needing 17 to crack the school’s Top 10,
and with a very realistic chance of joining Connor and Paul Posluszny as the top
three tacklers in program history.
Lee recorded double-figures in tackles in 10 of the last 11 games,
giving him 12 in his blossoming career. An intense competitor who loves to hit,
Lee also had 10.5 tackles for loss (minus-34), 3.5 sacks, forced three fumbles,
recovered three fumbles and grabbed one interception. The swift and strong
athlete also was second on the team with eight pass breakups. He was tied for
first in the Big Ten in fumble recoveries and was tied for No. 7 in the
conference in forced fumbles last year.
A starter in the last 26 games, Lee punctuated his marvelous junior
season by earning 2007 Valero Alamo Bowl Defensive Player of the Game accolades.
He recorded a game-high 14 tackles, tied for most in Alamo Bowl history, to lead
a defensive unit that allowed Texas A&M just three points over the final 49
minutes of the game. He also had a minus-yardage hit and a pass break-up in the
24-17 victory to earn a berth on the ESPN.com All-Bowl Team. A finance major, Lee earned ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District
honors last year and would have been a strong candidate for Academic All-America
accolades this fall. He has earned Academic All-Big Ten honors
Coach Joe Paterno’s Nittany Lions conclude
spring drills on Saturday, April 19 with the highly-anticipated Blue-White Game.
As in previous years, there is no admission or parking fee for the Blue-White
Game. Activities will begin on Friday at 6 p.m. with a carnival outside Beaver
Stadium. On Saturday, stadium parking lots will open at 8 a.m. Stadium gates A,
B and C will open at 12:00 p.m., with the popular autograph session starting at
12:30 p.m. and kickoff at 2:00 p.m. The carnival will run throughout
The Blue-White Game will air live on the Penn
State Sports Network and GoPSUsports.com. The contest also will be televised on
the Big Ten Network on Monday, April 21 at 8:00 p.m. ET.