After 11 NFL seasons and more than 1,000 career tackles, Penn State legend Paul Posluszny is finally hanging up his cleats.
The 33-year-old Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker announced his retirement Tuesday morning after realizing he “can no longer compete at a level that I find acceptable.” In a detailed letter that outlined his love of the game and served as a thank-you to all those who impacted his life, Posluszny took the time to express his gratitude for his hometown, the Buffalo Bills who drafted him, the Jaguars, his family — and, of course, the university he called home from 2003 to 2006.
“I would like to offer my deepest thanks to the Pennsylvania State University, and the entire Nittany Lion family,” Posluszny wrote. “Playing football for the legendary Coach Joe Paterno provided me with a priceless education and wonderful memories. I formed lasting friendships with my college roommates; played with outstanding men like Sean Lee, Dan Connor, Tim Shaw and Michael Robinson; practiced the game of football with elite coaches like Tom Bradley and Ron Vanderlinden; and most importantly, learned that just being a football player was never going to be good enough.
“Living a life of ‘Success with Honor,’ being a great son, brother, husband, father, as well as serving your community and helping others, was always far more important than tackling running backs.”
Posluszny was a two-time winner of the Bednarik Award and a one-time Butkus Award recipient while playing for the Nittany Lions. ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg rated the Aliquippa native as the No. 5 Big Ten player of the decade, regardless of position.
In the NFL, Posluszny played in 145 career games — spending four seasons with the Bills before making his mark during a seven-year career with the Jaguars. He became the franchise’s all-time leading tackler and, for his career, boasts 1,214 stops, 51 pass deflections, eight forced fumbles, 15 interceptions and 16 sacks.
“I cherished every moment of my NFL career, and it has been such a blessing to play the game for as long as I have played,” Posluszny wrote. “I anxiously look forward to next football season to arrive, but this time with the sole focus of being a great husband and father to my loving family.”
Posluszny has been one of the primary faces of Linebacker U ever since suiting up for the blue and white. He helped bring the team out of the doldrums, thanks to 2005’s Orange Bowl run, and was always known as a soft-spoken, blue-collar leader who competed with class.
In addition to being known as one of Linebacker U’s best-ever linebackers, he’s also regarded as one of the Jaguars’ most-beloved defensive players.
“I thank God every day for all that He has given me: my family, my friends, my teammates and for making me an American,” Posluszny wrote to end his letter. “Today, I would like to thank God for making me a Jacksonville Jaguar, and for allowing me the privilege of an 11-year professional football career.”