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Barkley, Gillikin and Thompkins headline special teams honorees; Smith garners sportsmanship accolades
2007 Junior Season
Scirrotto extended his string of starts to 26 games over the past two seasons and led the Nittany Lions in interceptions for the second consecutive year. His talents again shone brightly in the regular-season finale at Michigan State, as Scirrotto made a career-high 10 tackles and grabbed his third interception of the season, weaving his way 53 yards to set up the Nittany Lions' first touchdown drive. The pick was the 10th of his career, putting him one away from moving into the school Top 10. He was fourth on the squad with 65 tackles, including a tackle for loss, with three interceptions, three pass breakups and one fumble recovery. His three interceptions were tied for ninth in the Big Ten. Scirrotto recorded five tackles (three solo), and 0.5 TFL in the 31-10 thumping of Notre Dame. Against Buffalo, he made three tackles and grabbed his first interception of the season, returning it 45 yards. He also picked up a fumble in the second quarter, streaking down the sidelines, but stepped on the chalk prior to scoring. The recovery set up a touchdown in the final minute of the first half. He recorded six tackles at Michigan and six more in the 38-7 win over No. 19 Wisconsin. He also made an athletic play to grab his second interception of the season near the Badgers' sideline. Scirrotto made six stops in the 26-19 Senior Day victory over Purdue. He and the secondary played a pivotal role in keeping the Purdue offense out of the end zone for the second straight year. Playing just across the Delaware River from his hometown, Scirrotto made five hits (four solo) in the 31-0 win over Temple. In the Michigan State game, he recorded a career-high 10 tackles, including 0.5 TFL, in addition to his big interception and return. Scirrotto recorded eight stops in the Alamo Bowl victory over Texas A&M. He was on the field a team-high 1,029 snaps, topped by 96 at Indiana and 94 at Michigan.
2006 Sophomore Season
Scirrotto started every game at Hero, improved and gained confidence to become a significant force for the defense and special teams. He earned first-team All-Big Ten honors, leading the conference with six interceptions, and finishing second in the Big Ten with 14 passes defended. Scirrotto was an iron-man, leading the team with 1,001 snaps, topped by 98 against Akron and 97 versus Michigan State. Scirrotto set the tone for the second half in the Nittany Lions' 20-10 win over Tennessee in the Outback Bowl. With the score tied, 10-10, early in the third quarter, he delivered a bone-jarring hit on wideout Jason Swain just as he got his hands on what would have been a 35-yard completion. The play sparked the defense, which shut out Tennessee in the second half and held the Volunteers to 83 rushing yards in the game. On the Vols' next possession, Scirrotto grabbed his Big Ten-leading sixth interception of the season, returning it 19 yards into Tennessee territory. His pick ended a string of 126 consecutive passes without an interception for Vols' quarterback Erik Ainge. Scirrotto made eight tackles (six solo), tied for second-highest on the team, and had two pass breakups in addition to his interception to earn a spot on the ESPN.com All-Bowl team. For the season, he recorded 58 tackles (42 solo) and returned his six picks 122 yards for a superb 20.3 average. He was fourth on the team in tackles, had eight pass breakups and blocked a punt deep in Michigan State territory. Scirrotto delivered a tremendous effort in the comeback win over Illinois. With the Lions trailing, 9-3, early in the third period, he grabbed a pair of interceptions 11 plays apart to help turn the game around. Between his first and second pick, Penn State scored two touchdowns to take a 17-9 lead. Late in the game, Dan Connor recorded a safety on a sack to make it 19-12. The Illini tried an on-side kick and Scirrotto picked up the pigskin, avoided a couple of would-be tacklers and cruised into the end zone from 29 yards out to the delight of the Homecoming crowd. The play was Penn State's first kickoff return for a touchdown since Larry Johnson went 97 yards at Illinois in 2001. It was the first on-side kick returned by the Lions for a score since Joe Jackson returned one 50 yards against Baylor in the 1975 Cotton Bowl. Scirrotto also recorded four tackles and a pass breakup against the Illini. In his first start, against Akron, Scirrotto made five tackles and returned his second career interception 28 yards. He made six stops (five solo) at No. 4 Notre Dame. In the overtime win at Minnesota, Scirrotto recorded a then career-high seven tackles (five solo) and helped hold Minnesota to 68 yards rushing on 34 carries. Against the high-powered Purdue offense, Scirrotto made a late-game interception to seal the 12-0 win. At No. 17 Wisconsin, he recorded a career-high nine tackles (seven solo) and helped hold the Badgers 19 points below their season scoring average. On Senior Day against Michigan State, Scirrotto extended his body to block a punt late in the third quarter that gave Penn State the ball on the Spartans' 19. He finished with four tackles (three solo) and had three of Penn State's 14 pass breakups. His younger brother, Derek, also was a member of the squad.
2005 Freshman Season
Scirrotto played in 11 games, providing depth for a secondary that featured four senior starters and gained experience on special teams. He grabbed his first career interception at Illinois and was second on the team with five punt returns for an 8.4 average. He had a pair of returns for 21 yards against the Illini. Scirrotto was on the field for 81 snaps, topped by 20 against Illinois.
Scirrotto was an all-state football and baseball standout at West Deptford HS. A team captain, he played defensive back, quarterback and wide receiver for Coach Clyde Folsom. He was instrumental in leading his team to the South Jersey Group II state championship in 2002, `03 and `04, including 12-0 seasons the last two years when he was the starting quarterback. The South Jersey Player-of-the-Year, Scirrotto was a PrepStar All-American, was named Associated Press first-team all-state on defense and was a first-team Philadelphia Inquirer All-South Jersey honoree his last three years. A two-time all-conference selection, he also was named Scholar Athlete-of-the-Year in football and baseball. Scirrotto grabbed an incredible 26 interceptions during his prep career, recording 72 tackles and six picks as a senior. He threw for 802 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2004. On the diamond, he played shortstop and was a pitcher, earning all-state, All-South Jersey and all-conference honors. Scirrotto was a two-time baseball team captain.
Full name is Anthony Paul Scirrotto. He has three younger brothers -- Derek, Dominic and Vincent -- and two younger sisters, Nina and Michaela. He lists skiing and music as his hobbies. A kinesiology major, Scirrotto is eyeing a career as a chiropractor. Born October 21, 1986.