RELEASE - Six Nittany Lions Named First Team All-Big Ten
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - On the heels of Saturday's thrilling 24-21 overtime win over Wisconsin, the Nittany Lion football program earned All-Big Ten recognition for 14 players, including six Lions on the First Team All-Big Ten list, on Monday.
Take a look through a highlight list of Penn State's 2012 All-Big Ten selections.
First Team All-Big Ten Honorees:
WR Allen Robinson - Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year
Sophomore wide receiver Allen Robinson laid the groundwork for a stellar 2012 season during spring practice. The Michigan native evolved into Penn State's top wide receiver at the end of spring drills before the team headed into summer conditioning. He had a great summer workout season, and from there, Robinson never looked back. He entered the season with three career receptions for 29 yards and zero touchdowns. Robinson ended the season as the school's season reception leader (77), a 1,000-yard receiver and 11 touchdowns. Robinson topped the Big Ten in receptions per game (6.4), receiving yards per game (84.8) and receiving touchdowns 11. A smooth route-runner with great hands, Robinson made 19 catches in the first two games of the season. In all, he made at least nine receptions in four different games, including a career-best 10 receptions for 197 yards and three touchdowns against Indiana. The future is bright for the Nittany Lion who re-wrote the receiving record books in 2012.
C Matt Stankiewitch
Senior center Matt Stankiewitch was the first offensive player sprinting from drill to drill on the practice field every day, all season long. The leader of the Nittany Lion offensive line was a physical, gritty force that played an instrumental role in helping Zach Zwinak reach 1,000 rushing yards, marking Penn State's eighth-straight season to accomplish that feat. A starter in every game for the past two seasons, Stankiewitch was a consistent producer every week for the Nittany Lion offense.
G John Urschel
Junior guard John Urschel is perfect student in the classroom, and his play on the field in 2012 was not far behind. Playing in every game for the past two seasons, Urschel established himself as one of the top right guards in the conference with consistent production every Saturday in 2012. The Williamsville, N.Y., native helped Nittany Lion running back Zach Zwinak reach 1,000 rushing yards for the season, marking Penn State's eighth-straight season to accomplish that feat. Urschel also helped anchor an offensive line that played a paramount role in Matt McGloin's record-breaking season at the quarterback position, which included 3,271 yards.
TE Kyle Carter
From the day head coach Bill O'Brien was hired, Kyle Carter knew it was going to be a thrill playing tight end in his offense. Carter fits the mold of a prototypical "F" tight end in Coach O'Brien's offense with great speed to go along with a 6-3, 241-pound frame. Despite missing three games due to injury, Carter finished second on the team in receptions with 36. Carter and the Nittany Lion tight end corps finished with 82 receptions and 10 touchdowns in 2012. The Bear, Del., native made several tremendous receptions in games, but he arguably led the team in highlight real catches on the practice field. Carter is a tremendous athlete with an incredibly bright future in Penn State Blue and White.
DT Jordan Hill
Hard work is the only way to define Jordan Hill's recipe for a dominant season on the Penn State defensive line. The Steelton, Pa., product is a blue-collar Nittany Lion who practiced just as hard as he played every Saturday afternoon. Hill finished fourth on the team in tackles with 64, but his numbers are not indicative of the impact No. 47 had on opposing offenses. A senior leader in every sense of the word, Hill set an example for every player on the team with his work ethic on the practice field. Hill saved the best performance of his career for his last game. The senior finished with 12 tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks in the overtime victory, including eight stops alone in the fourth quarter in overtime. His effort on Senior Day epitomized what Hill was all about. The senior leader was willing to do whatever was necessary to win every single time he pulled on the No. 47 jersey.
LB Michael Mauti - Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year
Words will never do Michael Mauti's impact on the Penn State football program justice. Instrumental in helping keep the 2012 team in tact, Mauti was the heart and soul of the Nittany Lions this fall. A leader in every sense of the word, Mauti willed the Nittany Lions to an 8-4 season. On the field, the senior linebacker was superb, finishing with 96 tackles despite playing in just a one quarter during the final two weeks. Mauti finished seventh in the Big Ten in tackles. A fixture on several special teams units, as well, the Louisiana native was willing to do anything necessary to help the team win. Mauti made a team-high three interceptions for the Nittany Lion defense, including a 99-yard return at Illinois. He made a season-high 13 tackles against Ohio State. Additionally, the senior linebacker had at least 10 stops in four games this season. Mauti is a rare talent whose impact on the defense and program will be felt for many seasons to come.
Second Team All-Big Ten Honoree:
LB Gerald Hodges
Senior linebacker Gerald Hodges capped off a superb senior season as the team's top tackler. His 109 tackles (9.1 per game) ranked fifth in the Big Ten. A terrific athlete, Hodges evolved into one of the conference's top outside linebacker during the 2012 season. The New Jersey native made 14 tackles on two different occasions - Ohio State and at Nebraska - in 2012. Additionally Hodges tallied at least 10 stops in five different games. To honor Michael Mauti, Hodges traded in his No. 6 jersey for a No. 42 on Senior Day. The senior played an instrumental role on a Penn State defense that allowed just 19.1 points per game during the 2012 season.
All-Big Ten Honorable Mention
CB Adrian Amos
Adrian Amos was listed as a cornerback on the depth chart all season long, but the sophomore has the skill set to play just about anywhere on the defensive side of the ball. A physical tackler with a nose for the football, Amos finished the season with 44 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and a secondary-high two interceptions.
DE Deion Barnes
Redshirt freshman Deion Barnes has all the tools to become an elite defensive end for the Nittany Lions. In 2012, Barnes finished tied for fifth in the Big Ten in sacks with 6.0. The Philadelphia product made 26 tackles, including 10.0 hits for loss. He also forced three fumbles. Possessing great speed and quickness off the edge, Barnes posed a big challenge for opposing tackles every week.
OT Mike Farrell
A senior leader on the offensive line, Mike Farrell's strong 2012 season was a by product of a superb summer of workouts. Farrell entered the season in the best shape of his career, and it led to a strong senior campaign for the Pittsburgh native at tackle. Capable of playing on either side of the line, Farrell played a big role in the success of a Penn State offense that averaged 417.5 yards per game. Additionally, Farrell helped Nittany Lion running back Zach Zwinak reach 1,000 rushing yards for the season, marking Penn State's eighth-straight season to accomplish that feat.
QB Matt McGloin
Senior quarterback Matt McGloin put together the finest statistical season from a quarterback in Penn State history. The West Scranton native worked relentlessly in the offseason to master the philosophies behind Coach O'Brien's offense. The effort paid off with a 3,271-yard record-breaking season. McGloin led the Big Ten in yards per game (272.6), yardage (3,271) and touchdowns (24), while finishing with just five touchdowns. He threw at least one touchdown pass in every game this season. McGloin finishes his Penn State career first in touchdown passes (46), second in yardage (6,390), second in completions (513) and second in attempts (894). The statistics speak for themselves, but McGloin's consistency, leadership, decision-making and game management were tremendous in 2012.
CB Stephon Morris
Arguably the most improved player on the roster in 2012, Stephon Morris became a consistent force in the Penn State secondary. A skilled man-to-man coverage player, Morris was the leader of the defensive backfield for the 2012 campaign. Morris made 60 tackles, leading all players in the secondary. He made 5.0 tackles for loss and broke up five passes.
DE Sean Stanley
Senior defensive end Sean Stanley is a quiet leader, but his game speaks loud and clear. Stanley finished his final season in blue and white with 35 tackles, 9.5 hits for loss and 4.0 sacks. When needed, the Rockville, Md., native dropped back in coverage from his end position. A starter in 10 games, Stanley was a consistent force for the defensive line throughout the 2012 season.
RB Zach Zwinak
Sophomore Zach Zwinak's season started with three total carries in the first three games. His season ended with 1,000 yards and six touchdowns. The physical sophomore back started in just the last four games, but played an integral role on the Nittany Lion offense in 2012. The Maryland native finished the season with four-straight 134-plus yard performances, and he had six 100-yard efforts in his last eight games. A downhill runner, Zwinak was a punishing player to opposing defenses. He is the fifth Penn State player to rush for 1,000 yards since 2005 and the 14th different player to accomplish the feat.
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