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Football has been a big part of D'Anton Lynn's life since he was a child growing up in a state rich with gridiron talent. One of three Nittany Lion returnees from Texas, Lynn is following in the footsteps of his father by establishing himself as a standout football player. His father, Anthony Lynn, was an All-Southwest Conference running back at Texas Tech, captured two Super Bowl rings with the Denver Broncos and is in his third season as the running backs coach for the New York Jets. An honorable-mention All-Big Ten selection the past two years, D'Anton Lynn has been one of the most unheralded, but productive members of the Nittany Lion defense the past two seasons. A probable 2011 all-conference candidate, Lynn quietly and effectively goes about his business of covering some of the nation's top wideouts. The Phil Steele's College Football Preview Preseason All-Big Ten third-team selection opened 2011 with a strong effort in the Outback Bowl. Lynn intercepted a Florida pass on the opening play from scrimmage to set up a touchdown and pounced on a fumble for a touchback. The vastly talented, intelligent and instinctive Lynn has started all 26 games over the past two seasons. He was tied with safety Nick Sukay with a team-high three interceptions last season. A quick, versatile and hard-hitting student-athlete, Lynn brings great size, intensity and attitude to the field. He again will play a significant leadership and production role for a secondary that could start four seniors and rank among the Big Ten's best. An Associated Press Class 3A first-team all-state selection at Celina HS, Lynn joins Anthony Fera and Frank Figueroa as returning Nittany Lions from the Lone Star State.
2010 Junior Season
Lynn started every game for the second straight season, giving him 26 consecutive starts at cornerback. He was tied with Nick Sukay for the team lead with three interceptions and earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors for the second straight year. Lynn began 2011 with a strong effort against Florida in the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day. On the Gators' first play from scrimmage, he grabbed his third interception of the season to set up a touchdown for a 7-0 Penn State lead. Late in the first period, he alertly pounced on a fumble in the end zone for a touchback. Lynn made four stops against the Gators, including a tackle for loss. For the season, he was second on the team with 75 tackles (38 solo), including 2.5 tackles for loss. In addition to his three interceptions, he had four pass breakups and a fumble recovery. Lynn was instrumental in Penn State ranking second in the Big Ten and No. 16 in the nation in pass defense. Lynn recorded a then-career-high nine tackles at No. 1 Alabama. He grabbed the first interception of his career in the first quarter against Kent State to set up a touchdown drive in the 24-0 win over the Golden Flashes. Lynn tied his career-best with nine stops at Iowa and recorded seven tackles against Illinois, including 0.5 TFL. He recorded a career-high 10 tackles (six solo) in the win at Minnesota and made the defensive play of the game with an end zone interception and 58-yard return. On the next play, Matt McGloin fired a 42-yard touchdown pass to Derek Moye for 21-7 lead. Lynn also had a 0.5 TFL and pass breakup against the Golden Gophers. He had five hits (four solo) and two pass breakups in the primetime win over Michigan and four stops with 0.5 TFL in the historic comeback victory over Northwestern. Lynn made a team-high eight stops at Ohio State and had eight hits the next week in the win over Indiana. He recorded five tackles against No. 10 Michigan State. Lynn saw action on 908 snaps, fourth-highest on the squad, topped by 92 at Minnesota and 85 against Florida. Lynn began the season by being among three Nittany Lion football student-athletes to represent Penn State at the Big Ten Kickoff activities.
2009 Sophomore Season
Lynn won a starting assignment at one of the cornerback posts and held onto it throughout the season. He garnered honorable-mention All-Big Ten accolades and was instrumental in Penn State's Top 10 defense. Lynn made 35 tackles (26 solo), eighth on the team and tops among cornerbacks. He recorded 3.5 tackles for loss, including half a sack against Iowa, and five pass breakups. Lynn stepped into a unit that had some uncertainty at the start of the season due to inexperience and was a productive and stabilizing factor. He recorded a career-high eight tackles (five solo) in the 34-13 win at Northwestern, helping hold the Wildcats to less than half their season scoring average. Lynn made six solo stops in the Senior Day win over Indiana to help ensure that corners A.J. Wallace and Knowledge Timmons were victorious in their final home game. Lynn helped hold Minnesota's Eric Decker, the Big Ten's leading receiver at the time, to just one catch in a 20-0 Homecoming win over the Golden Gophers. He recorded three solo tackles, with a minus-yardage play, in the 42-14 win at Michigan State, helping hold the Spartans to 94 rushing yards and 17 points below their season scoring figure. He had five hits in the win over Eastern Illinois. He was on the field for 790 snaps last season, the team's eighth-highest total among returnees, topped by 81 against Indiana and 79 in the win at Illinois.
2008 Freshman Season
Lynn made his collegiate debut against Temple, returning a punt, and played in nine of the last 10 contests on defense and special teams. He was one of four true freshmen to see action during the Big Ten Championship season. He emerged as the top reserve to Tony Davis at one of the cornerback spots. Lynn made three tackles during the season, with two pass breakups and a punt return for 10 yards against Temple. He made two hits in the 48-7 win at Wisconsin and one stop against the Owls. Lynn was on the field for 92 snaps, led by 20 against Temple.
Lynn was a standout at a variety of positions for Coach Butch Ford at Celina HS. He played defensive back, linebacker, quarterback, running back and wide receiver for the Bobcats. Lynn was instrumental in Celina winning the 2007 Texas Class 3A Division 2 state championship with a 16-0 record. The Bobcats also were the 2006 state runners-up, with a 15-1 record. He earned Associated Press Class 3A first-team all-state accolades as a senior and was rated Scout.com's No. 17 defensive back in the nation. A team captain, Lynn recorded 60 tackles (37 solo) and grabbed five interceptions in 2007, returning two for touchdowns. As a junior, Lynn missed most of the season with an injury, but gained 337 rushing yards, recorded 57 tackles, forced two fumbles and recovered a pair of fumbles. He was named first-team all-area in 2006. Lynn also was a captain on the track and field squad.
Anthony Raymond Lynn II is the son of Anthony and Cynda Lynn. He has one younger sister, Danielle. His father is the running backs coach for the New York Jets and played at Texas Tech, earning All-Southwest Conference honors at running back as a junior. He played for the NFL's Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers from 1993-99, winning two Super Bowl rings with the Broncos. In his free time, D'Anton enjoys playing video games. He is studying communication, arts and sciences. Born October 24, 1989 in Plano, Texas.
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