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Jan. 13, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Three Penn State football student-athletes have accepted invitations to play in a new all-star game, bringing to seven the number of 2011 seniors playing in the post-season.
Safety Drew Astorino (Edinboro), tackle and Quinn Barham (Durham, N.C.) and tailback Stephfon Green (Bronx, N.Y.) have been invited to play in the Casino Del Sol All-Star Game in Tucson, Ariz. Sponsored by the Tucson Padres Class AAA baseball franchise, the game is Monday, Jan. 16 at 6:00 p.m. MT.
The trio of Nittany Lions will play on the Stars Team, coached by former Arkansas and Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt. Fox Sports Arizona will televise the contest.
A starter in a team-high 40 career games, co-captain Drew Astorino started every game this season at Hero. An honorable-mention All-Big Ten selection, he ranked second on the team in tackles (85), including 5.0 tackles for loss. He had one interception and was third on the squad with six pass break-ups. Astorino graduated in August and garnered Academic All-Big Ten honors. He earned the team's Ridge Riley Award, presented to a senior for "sportsmanship, scholarship, leadership and friendship." Astorino finished the regular season by setting a career-high with 12 tackles (10 solos) at No. 12 Wisconsin.
Also a co-captain, Barham started all 26 games the past two seasons and earned 2011 honorable-mention All-Big Ten notice. He was instrumental in the Nittany Lions leading the Big Ten in fewest sacks allowed (14), with neither Ohio State or Wisconsin recording a sack in the final two regular season games. Barham played a vital role in helping clear paths for tailback Silas Redd (1,241 yards), giving Penn State a 1,000-yard rusher for the seventh consecutive season. Redd's rushing total ranked No. 10 in Penn State season records book. Barham and the offensive line lifted Penn State to an improvement of 41 rushing yards per game in Big Ten games (178.1 ypg) compared to the initial four non-conference tilts (137.0 ypg). Barham was co-recipient of the Richard Maginnis Memorial Award, presented to the team's top offensive lineman. He graduated last May and earned Academic All-Big Ten honors.
Green was second on the team in rushing with 266 yards and six touchdowns and was third on the team in scoring. Playing in eight games, he averaged 4.4 yards on his 61 carries. Green also was sixth on the team with 11 receptions. He gained a season-high 93 yards on 16 carries and scored two touchdowns in the 20-14 win at Ohio State. He burst to a 39-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Green ran for 71 yards on 17 attempts and scored two second half touchdowns on Senior Day vs. Nebraska. He also scored a touchdown in the final minute of the first half for a 27-24 lead, gaining 33 yards in the win at Northwestern. Green earned his degree in December.
Penn State defensive end Jack Crawford (Longport, N.J.), cornerback D'Anton Lynn (Celina, Texas), All-America defensive tackle Devon Still (Wilmington, Del.) and guard Johnnie Troutman (Brown Mills, N.J.) are scheduled to play on the North squad in the 63rd Annual Senior Bowl. The Jan. 28 contest will kick off at 4:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. CT and air on NFL Network from Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala.
The quartet of Nittany Lions playing in the Senior Bowl is Penn State's highest number of participants in the contest since five in the 2003 Senior Bowl. Three of the five were NFL first round draft choices that spring (Michael Haynes, Bryant Johnson and Larry Johnson).
Thirty-three former Nittany Lions were on 2011 NFL rosters, among the top 15 totals of all colleges and universities. Seven former Penn State standouts on the rosters of the eight remaining NFL playoff teams.
A total of 325 Penn State football student-athletes have been drafted by NFL teams, including 10 first round draft choices in the past 11 years. A total of 26 Nittany Lions have been drafted since 2006, including 13 in the first three rounds.
Penn State has had at least one alumnus on a Super Bowl team in 40 of 45 title games, including during the 2010 season when Andrew Quarless won an NFL title in his rookie season with the Green Bay Packers. Thirty-three former Nittany Lions have earned a total of 49 Super Bowl rings.