LOGAN, Utah – Former Utah State football player Donald Penn has been added to the NFC squad for the National Football League’s 2011 Pro Bowl game. Penn will not only be making his first-ever Pro Bowl appearance, but he will also be the first offensive tackle ever to represent the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Pro Bowl.Penn, who is Tampa Bay’s first Pro Bowler chosen since 2008, helped mark the first time in Buccaneers’ history that they surpassed both the 3,000-yard passing mark and the 2,000-yard rushing mark in the same season. Penn’s blocking helped quarterback Josh Freeman to a Pro Bowl-alternate season, joining Brad Johnson in 2002 as the only quarterbacks in team history to throw for more than 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns while also throwing fewer than 10 interceptions. Penn even contributed directly to the Buccaneers’ 39 TDs this season. In Tampa Bay’s 21-0 win at San Francisco in Week 11, he lined up as an eligible receiver at the end of the line and caught a one-yard pass for a TD.A six-year veteran, Penn was the only offensive lineman to start all 16 games for the Buccaneers in 2010, and he was also the only member of the opening day front-five to still be starting in the season finale. For his career, Penn has played in 48 career games with 44 starts, and started in his only playoff appearance.Originally selected as an alternate by combined fan, player and coach voting, Penn was added to the Pro Bowl roster when Chad Clifton and the Green Bay Packers advanced to Super Bowl XLV on Sunday. Clifton had been one of the three tackles chosen for the game, but will now be preparing for the Super Bowl when the Pro Bowl is played in Hawaii next Sunday, January 30.A Utah State letterwinner from 2002-05, Penn started 44 career games in playing both tackle position. He made all 44 of his starts in consecutive order, tied for the most for a USU player since 1991. Penn earned second-team all-WAC accolades in 2005 and was selected to play in the Hula Bowl, marking the first time since 2000 that an Aggie had played in the prestigious college all-star game and just the 11th overall.Penn is also the 11th former Aggie player to play in the NFL Pro Bowl, and the first since Washington Redskins tight end Chris Cooley in 2008. A total of seven of the 11 former USU players have played in multiple Pro Bowls, led by Merlin Olsen’s prestigious 14 appearances.The 2011 Pro Bowl will kick off at 5 p.m. (MT) on Sunday, Jan. 30 and will be televised by FOX.-USU-
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