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Kerry Collins is at the top of the class when discussing Penn State quarterbacks.
His place on top of the all-time quarterback rankings at Penn State is locked in, with Todd Blackledge the obvious No. 2, before debates begin about where different players should be ranked. Collins left Penn State as the most polished quarterback in school history, and he would go on to have the most successful NFL career by a Nittany Lion quarterback.
To this day Collins holds Penn State passing records for most passing yards by a junior (352 yards vs Michigan State, 1993), consecutive completions in a single game (14 vs. Minnesota, 1994), highest completion percentage in a season (66.7, 1994) and career (56.3), and most yards per attempt in a season (10.15, 1994).
In addition, Collins also holds the school record for most consecutive games with a touchdown pass in a single season (11, 1994) and career (14). His season pass efficiency rating of 172.86 in 1994 also remains a school record.
Collins led Penn State to a 12-0 record in the 1994 season, winning the first Big Ten championship in the school's second year in the conference and winning the first Rose Bowl in school history.
Though Penn State did not win a national championship in the eyes of the polls, Collins led one of Penn State's top offensive units in school history—a unit that is still highly regarded as one of the best in college football history to this day. Collins passed for 21 touchdowns and was intercepted just seven times in 1994, a season that saw he and a number of other starters pulled early in games after blowing away the competition.
In a season of many great accomplishments and feats, Collins saw his finest moment come against Illinois, when he led The Drive to rally Penn State against upset-minded Illinois. After digging a shocking 21-0 deficit on the road, Collins and Penn State battled back and needed a 96-yard drive late in the game to avoid their first loss of the season with a possible national championship still on the line. Collins was precise and confident in leading the Nittany Lions downfield in the most clutch of moments of the season.
The awards piled up for Collins in 1994. He was awarded multiple quarterback awards (College Quarterback of the Year, Sammy Baugh Award, Davey O'Brien Award) and was named the Maxwell Award winner in addition to being named a consensus All-American.
After his time at Penn State, Collins would be drafted with the fifth overall draft pick of the 1995 NFL draft by the expansion Carolina Panthers. The Panthers traded down from No. 1 overall with the Cincinnati Bengals, who selected his teammate Ki-Jana Carter.
Collins would go on to lead the Panthers to an NFC Championship Game appearance in the franchise's second year of existence, and he would later take the New York Giants to a Super Bowl appearance.
Collins was selected for two Pro Bowls, in 1996 and 2008.
All stats are provided by College Football Reference and Penn State Athletics.
Kevin McGuire is the host of the No 2-Minute Warning podcast and managing editor of Nittany Lions Den. McGuire is an analyst for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.