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Nine Nittany Lions to Participate in All-Star Contests

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Jan. 18, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - Nine Nittany Lion seniors will participate in a total of three post-season all-star games, beginning Saturday with the East-West Shrine Game and the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. Jason Cabinda, Curtis Cothran, Parker Cothren, Grant Haley and DaeSean Hamilton will participate in the Shrine Game, which takes place St. Petersburg, Florida, while Troy Apke will play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Pasadena, California. Both games will take place Saturday, Jan. 20. Additionally, Marcus Allen, Christian Campbell and Mike Gesicki will participate in the Reese’s Senior Bowl Saturday, Jan. 27 in Mobile, Alabama.

Apke is the first in action when he plays on the National team in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, which airs live on FS1 Saturday at 1 p.m. from the Rose Bowl. All five Nittany Lions in the East-West Shrine Game will be on the East team, which airs live on the NFL Network Saturday at 3 p.m. from Tropicana Field.

The trio of Nittany Lions in the Reese’s Senior Bowl will be on the North team, which airs live on the NFL Network, Saturday, Jan. 27 at 2:30 p.m. from Ladd-Peebles Stadium.


 

 

The nine all-star participants are the most for the Nittany Lions since 2003 when nine student-athlete were in post-season games (five in the Senior Bowl and four in the Blue-Gray Game). The five East-West Shrine Game participants are the most for the Nittany Lions since 1955 when Don Bailey, Jim Garrity, Otto Kneidinger, Lenny Moore and Frank Reich participated.

East-West Shrine Game Participants

Jason Cabinda, LB, 6-1, 234, Flemington, N.J./Hunterdon Central

  • All-Big Ten second team selection by the coaches and honorable mention pick by the media.
    • Collected third all-conference honor of his career with a berth on the coaches’ third team in 2016 and honorable mention by the media (2015, 2016) and coaches (2015).
    • Is the first Penn State linebacker to earn All-Big Ten first or second team honors since Mike Hull (first team) in 2014.
  • Led the team with 88 tackles.
  • Had two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
  • Finished his career tied for eighth on Penn State’s career tackles chart with 287 stops.
  • Ranked tied for 19th in the Big Ten in tackles per game (7.0).
  • Had nine career double-digit tackle games (three in 2015, three in 2016, three in 2017).
  • Earned Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week (Bachie, MSU) and Lott IMPACT Trophy Player of the Week after 12 tackles, a half-sack and a forced fumble vs. Michigan (10/21).
  • Selected as a quarterfinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy.
  • Was the Lott IMPACT Trophy Player of the Week on Oct. 2 after producing a career-high-tying 14 tackles vs. Indiana.
  • Earned Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week following his effort vs. Indiana (9/30).
  • Made a career-high-tying 14 tackles (Army, 2015) against Indiana, including six solo tackles, one sack and 1.5 tackles for loss.
  • Led all defenders with 12 tackles and forced his second career fumble in the third quarter against Michigan.
  • Totaled a game-high 11 tackles against Rutgers.

Curtis Cothran, DT, Gr./Sr., 6-5, 301, Newtown, Pa./Council Rock North

  • Honorable-mention All-Big Ten by the coaches.
  • Had 3.5 sacks and 4.0 tackles for loss on the season.
  • Totaled three tackles, including 1.0 TFL, against Akron.
  • Had two tackles and toppled Clayton Thorson on a first-quarter sack for a loss of 8 yards on first-and-goal during Northwestern’s opening drive.
  • Registered a solo sack of John O'Korn on third down of Michigan's opening drive to force a punt against Michigan.
  • Totaled two tackles, including a solo takedown of quarterback J.T. Barrett in the first quarter at Ohio State.

Parker Cothren, DT, Gr./Sr., 6-4, 304, Huntsville, Ala./Hazel Green

  • Honorable-mention All-Big Ten by the media.
  • Had 27 tackles, including 2.5 TFL and 1.5 sacks as a senior.
  • Logged two stops against Pittsburgh.
  • Made a pair of tackles against Georgia State.
  • Totaled four tackles and recovered a third-quarter fumble against Indiana.
  • Made three tackles at Northwestern.
  • Made four tackles and logged a solo quarterback takedown in the fourth quarter against Michigan.
  • Posted three stops and added one quarterback hurry at Michigan State.

Grant Haley, CB, Sr./Sr., 5-9, 190, Atlanta, Ga./The Lovett School

  • Honorable-mention all-conference by coaches and media.
    • Second All-Big Ten award of his career after an honorable mention appearance on the media’s team in 2015.
  • Was second on the squad with 10 pass breakups.
  • Ranked eighth on the team with 40 tackles.
  • Finished his career with 23 pass breakups, which is in the top 20 in program history.
  • Named a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, along with teammate Marcus Allen.
    Earned Midseason All-America honors from The All-American and USA Today.
  • Namedto the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week on Sept. 12 after grabbing his first interception of the season vs. Pittsburgh.
  • Earned Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week following his effort vs. Indiana (9/30).
  • Garnered a spot on the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week on Oct. 10 after a three-tackle, three-pass breakup effort at Northwestern.

DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Gr./Sr., 6-1, 206, Fredericksburg, Va./Mountain View

  • Second-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and third-team all-conference by the media.
    • Earned third all-conference honor of his career after an appearance on the second team (media in 2014) and honorable mention squad (media in 2015; coaches in 2014).
    • Is the first Nittany Lion wide receiver to earn first or second team All-Big Ten honors since Chris Godwin (second team) in 2015.
  • Was No. 9 among active FBS pass catchers with 214 career receptions, which led active B1G receivers.
  • Was No. 9 in receiving yards (2,842) among active FBS pass catchers, which was tops among Big Ten pass catchers.
  • Is Penn State's all-time leader in receptions (214), passing Deon Butler's former mark of 179 against Indiana (9/30/17).
  • Ranks No. 2 on Penn State’s all-time receiving yardage list (2,842).
  • Is the ninth player in Penn State history to eclipse the 2,000-yard receiving mark.
  • Has 21 career games with five-plus receptions (nine in 2014, five in 2015, two in 2016, five in 2017).
  • Tied for No. 3 all-time at Penn State with nine 100-yard receiving games (four in 2014, one in 2016, four in 2017).
  • Ranks tied for No. 4 on Penn State's career receiving touchdowns charts with 18 scoring grabs.
  • Joins teammates Saquon Barkley and Mike Gesicki as the second RB/WR/TE trio to eclipse 1,000 career receiving yards in Big Ten history (Purdue, 1982-85: WR Steve Griffin, 2,234 yards; RB Rodney Carter, 1,814 yards; TE Marty Scott, 1,247 yards).
  • Earned a spot on the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week on Oct. 24 after his showing vs. Michigan.
  • Named Co-Big Ten Player of the Week (Davis III, MSU) on Oct. 2 after his 9-catch, 122-yard, 3-touchdown performance vs. Indiana.
  • Earned Pro Football Focus National Team of the Week and Big Ten Team of the Week following his effort vs. Indiana (9/30), earning the highest position grade of any B1G offensive student-athlete that week.
  • Ranks tied for No. 25 in the FBS and No. 3 in the Big Ten in receiving touchdowns (9).
  • Ranks No. 68 in the FBS and No. 5 in the Big Ten in yards per reception (16.17).
  • Is No. 67 nationally and No. 6 in the Big Ten in receiving yards per game (65.9).

NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Participant

Troy Apke, S, Sr./Sr., 6-1, 198, Mt. Lebanon, Pa./Mount Lebanon

  • Honorable-mention All-Big Ten by the media.
  • Was fourth on the team with 55 tackles.
  • Earned Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week honors on Sept. 12 after collecting an interception and five tackles vs. Pittsburgh. 
  • Blocked his first career kick on a field goal attempt in the fourth quarter at Iowa.
  • Notched a career-high eight tackles, including six solo, at Ohio State.
  • Tied his career high with eight tackles, including five solo, and added one pass breakup and one quarterback hurry at Michigan State.

Reese’s Senior Bowl Participants

Marcus Allen, S, Sr./Sr., 6-2, 207, Upper Marlboro, Md./Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr.

  • First-team all-conference selection by the coaches and second-team All-Big Ten choice by the media.
    • Earned third All-Big Ten honor of his career with appearances on the coaches’ third team in 2016 and honorable mention team for the media (2015, 2016) and coaches (2015).
    • Is the first Nittany Lion safety to earn All-Big Ten first team accolades since Anthony Scirrotto claimed honors in 2008.
  • Second on the team with 72 tackles and tied for the team lead with two forced fumbles.
  • Was No. 24 among active FBS defenders with 321 career tackles.
  • Is just the sixth Nittany Lion to reach the 300-tackle mark in a career.
  • Ranked No. 5 on Penn State’s career tackles chart with 321 stops, trailing Brian Gelzheiser (315; 1991-94) for No. 5.
  • Had nine career double-digit tackle games in his career (two in 2014, two in 2015, three in 2016, two in 2017).
  • Named a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, along with teammate Grant Haley.
  • Selected as a quarterfinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, along with teammate Jason Cabinda.
  • Earned the Lott IMPACT Trophy Player of the Week on Sept. 12 after piling up 13 tackles vs. Pittsburgh.
  • Named to the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award weekly honor roll on Sept. 13 for his efforts vs. Pittsburgh.
  • Earned Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week following his effort vs. Indiana (9/30).
  • Logged a fourth-quarter tackle for loss against Pitt, taking down running back Darrin Hall for a safety, the first Penn State safety since 2010 (Devon Still, vs. Minnesota).
  • Grabbed the first interception of his career against Georgia State in the second quarter and returned it 50 yards.
  • Boasted a game-high 10 tackles at Ohio State, including nine solo stops.

Christian Campbell, CB, Sr./Sr., 6-1, 194, Phenix City, Ala./Central

  • Honorable-mention all-conference by coaches and media.
  • Led the team with 12 pass breakups.
  • Ranked seventh on the team with 45 tackles.
  • Had at least one pass breakup in seven-straight games from the 2017 Rose Bowl to Northwestern.
  • Registered four tackles, including three solo, and two pass breakups against Pitt.
  • Tallied four tackles, one pass breakup and forced the first fumble of the game, which was recovered by Jason Cabinda, against Indiana.
  • Made four tackles and hauled in his first interception of the season to end the first half at Northwestern.
  • Made a highlight defensive play on a strip-sack of John O'Korn in the fourth quarter against Michigan.
  • Tied his career high with six stops at Ohio State.

Mike Gesicki, TE/H, Sr./Sr., 6-6, 250, Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional

  • 2017 Sporting News second-team All-American.
    • Is the first Penn State tight end to earn All-America first or second team honors since Kyle Brady was a first-team selection in 1994.
  • First-team all-conference selection by the media and second-team All-Big Ten choice by the coaches.
    • Earns second All-Big Ten honor of his career after an appearance on the second team (coaches & media) last season.
    • Is the first Nittany Lion tight end to earn All-Big Ten first team accolades since Kyle Carter in 2012.
  • Selected as one of three finalists for the Mackey Award for National Tight End of the Year.
  • Named second-team All-America by SB Nation and third-team All-America by College Sports Madness.
  • Ranked fourth among FBS tight ends in touchdown receptions (9).
  • Ranked fifth among FBS tight ends in yards (563).
  • Ranked third among FBS tight ends in receptions (57).
  • Had at least one reception in 27-straight games to end his career.
  • Of his 57 catches this season, 37 of them went for a first down or a touchdown.
  • Ranks tied No. 25 nationally and No. 3 in the Big Ten in receiving touchdowns (9).
  • Is tied for No 86 nationally and No. 6 in the Big Ten in receptions per game (4.4).
  • Set the Penn State career receptions record for tight ends with his final catch vs. Pittsburgh, eclipsing Andrew Quarless' 87 grabs from 2006-09.
  • Surpassed Ted Kwalick's 1,343 yards from 1966-68 for the most receiving yards by a tight end vs. Nebraska and has 1,419 yards in his career.
  • Finished No. 9 on the career receptions charts with 129 grabs.
  • Finished No. 17 on Penn State's career receiving yards chart with 1,481 yards.
  • Became the 29th Penn State pass catcher to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards vs. Pittsburgh.
  • Had 13 career touchdown receptions, moving past Jesse James (11; 2012-14) for the school record for a tight end.
  • Joins teammates Saquon Barkley and DaeSean Hamilton as the second RB/WR/TE trio to eclipse 1,000 career receiving yards in Big Ten history (Purdue, 1982-85: WR Steve Griffin, 2,234 yards; RB Rodney Carter, 1,814 yards; TE Marty Scott, 1,247 yards).
  • Owns the Penn State single season record for touchdown catches for a tight end with seven in 2017.
  • Owns the single-season record for receptions by a tight end with 48 in 2016, passing Andrew Quarless (41; 2009), and yardage by a tight end at 679 in 2016, besting Mickey Shuler’s single-season record of 600 receiving yards (1977).
  • Earned Midseason All-America honors from Sports Illustrated.
  • Earned Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week honors on Sept. 12 after catching two touchdown passes vs. Pittsburgh.
  • Selected to the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week following his two-touchdown effort vs. Nebraska.
  • Caught a touchdown pass in five-straight games from Nov. 26, 2016-Sept. 9, 2017, including multiple touchdown grabs in the first two games of 2017.

Penn State season ticket renewals and Nittany Lion Club membership renewals also are underway for the 2018 Penn State Football season presented by PSECU. The ticket invoice and Nittany Lion Club renewal deadline is Feb. 1, 2018. For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing new 2018 season tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit www.PSUnrivaled.com, call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office weekdays from 10 a.m-6 p.m.

More than 2,800 new season tickets have already been sold for the 2018 campaign.

@PennStateFball

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