It was a breakout season for kicking specialist Anthony Fera, who was selected the 2011 first-team All-Big Ten punter by ESPN.com and second-team all-conference by the media and coaches. He became the first Nittany Lion to be selected Big Ten Special Teams Player-of-the-Week three times in a season, doing so all against Big Ten competition. Fera further distinguished himself as the first Nittany Lion since Chris Bahr in 1975 to be the starter for field goals, kickoffs and punts when he got the nod for all three duties against Eastern Michigan. He maintained those roles for the rest of the 2011 season and should emerge as one of the nation's top placekickers and punters and a post-season awards candidate. Fera was selected a semifinalist for the 2011 Lou Groza Collegiate Placekicker Award and also was a candidate for the Ray Guy Award, presented to the nation's top punter. The Houston area standout has a strong leg, demonstrating accuracy whether he's attempting a field goal or looking to pin the opposition deep in its own territory. Fera connected on 14-of-17 field goals last season for a superb 82.4 percent conversion rate, and was 11-of-11 on attempts inside 40 yards. A junior, he connected on a career-long 46-yard field goal on the final play of the first half in Penn State's critical 20-14 win at Ohio State en route to his third Big Ten weekly honor. He averaged 42.0 yards on 64 punts, with 18 kicks landing inside the 20, and delivered 12 punts of 50 yards or longer. Fera ranked third in the Big Ten in field goal percentage and fourth in punting average. Fera is on schedule to graduate in December. He is among three returning Nittany Lions from Texas.
2011 Junior Season
Selected first-team All-Big Ten punter by ESPN.com and second-team all-conference by the media and coaches, Fera connected on 14-of-17 field goals (82.4 percent) and was 20-of-20 on extra point attempts, scoring a team-high 62 points. Fera became the first Nittany Lion since Chris Bahr in 1975 to be the starter for field goals, kickoffs and punts when he got the nod for all three duties during the Eastern Michigan game, maintaining those roles for the rest of the 2011 season. He was selected a Lou Groza Collegiate Placekicker Award semifinalist and a candidate for the Ray Guy Award (top punter). He was 11-of-11 on field goal attempts inside 40 yards and delivered a career-long 46-yard field goal on the final play of the first half in Penn State's critical 20-14 win at Ohio State. Fera, who was the first Nittany Lion to be selected Big Ten Special Teams Player-of-the-Week three times in a season, averaged 42.0 yards on 64 punts, with 18 kicks landing inside the 20. He also delivered 12 punts of 50 yards or longer, led by a career-best 69-yard effort late in the tight win over Purdue. He also handled 45 of the team's 55 kickoffs, with 10 touchbacks. Fera ranked third in the Big Ten in field goal percentage (82.4), fourth in punting average (42.0) and fifth in field goals made (1.17 per game). Fera booted three punts for a 47-yard average against Alabama and dropped two punts inside the 20 against Temple, averaging 43.2 yards per kick, including a game-long punt of 55. Fera was 3-for-4 on field goals and placed three punts inside the 20 at Indiana to earn Big Ten Special Teams Player-of-the-Week honors for the first time. In the 13-3 win over Iowa, he had five punts that averaged 43.8 yards, including a 58-yard effort. In the 23-18 Leaders Division victory over Purdue, Fera gained his second conference honor in three weeks by averaging 44.5 yards on six punts, including a career-long 69-yard punt in the final three minutes to pin Purdue at the one-yard line. In the 10-7 division win over Illinois, Fera played an important role. He made a 30-yard field goal with seven minutes to play and punted eight times, with two inside the 20. Fera broke his career-long for field goals twice in the win at Ohio State, connecting from 43 yards and 46 yards, the latter on the final play of the first half, for a 20-14 lead and the eventual winning score. He also placed three punts inside the 20 against the Buckeyes to claim Big Ten weekly honors for the third time in seven games. At Wisconsin, in rainy conditions, Fera punted five times for a 46.2-yard average, with a long of 55 yards and three punts inside the 20. Fera punted nine times against Houston in the TicketCity Bowl, averaging 41.6 yards with a long of 55. He was on the field for 137 plays.
2010 Sophomore Season
Fera won the punting duties in preseason and was selected a 2010 second-team Rivals.com Freshman All-American. Fera punted during the first 10 games, including handling kickoff duties, but on Nov. 17 had an emergency appendectomy. He missed the last two regular-season games, with Indiana and Michigan State, but returned against Florida in the Outback Bowl. Among Fera's 46 punts, 13 landed inside the 20-yard line, 19 were fair catches, and nine were booted 50 yards or more. For the season, Fera averaged 41.4 yards, with only one touchback. In the fourth quarter at Iowa, he launched a 74-yard punt, the fourth-longest punt in Penn State history, and the team's longest since 2004. Fera averaged 44 yards on six punts against Illinois, including a boot of 53 yards, which the Illinois returner fumbled at the nine-yard line. A sliding Michael Zordich recovered the fumble, which set up a field goal. Fera averaged just over 45 yards per punt at Minnesota, including a 61-yard blast. Four of his six punts against the Golden Gophers were downed inside the 20-yard line. Fera knocked two punts inside the 20 against Northwestern, including one that landed at the Wildcats' seven-yard line in the fourth quarter to assist the Lions' historic comeback. At Ohio State, he averaged 44.2 yards on six punts, with a long of 54 yards and one punt downed at the Ohio State 4. Fera missed the Indiana and Michigan State games due to an emergency appendectomy three days before the contest with the Hoosiers. He returned against Florida in the Outback Bowl, punting three times for a 38.7-yard average with a long of 52 yards.
2009 Freshman Season
Fera was one of the nation's top prep placekickers for Coach Robin Kirk at St. Pius X HS. He was selected a 2008 Under Armour All-American and earned first-team all-state honors as a junior and senior. Fera was rated Scout.com's and Rivals.com's No. 2 kicker in the nation. During his senior season, he was 37-of-39 on PAT attempts and 8-of-9 on field goals, with a long of 58 yards. In 2008, 55 of his 60 kickoffs went for touchbacks. Fera also averaged 44.1 yards on 36 punts.
Full named is Anthony Michael Fera. He is the son of Donna and Tony Fera. He has two older sisters, Deanna and Melissa. His father played football and wrestled at Widener University. An uncle and three aunts attended Penn State. Fera's hobbies include working out, hunting and watching movies. Fera is a kinesiology major. Born June 18, 1991 in Philadelphia, Pa.