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May 20, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Athlon Sports' College Football 2008 has selected Penn State defensive end Maurice Evans (Brooklyn, N.Y.) as a pre-season first team All-American and recognized 11 Nittany Lions on their All-Big Ten teams.
A rising junior, Evans also was named pre-season first team All-Big Ten by Athlon. In 2007, he recorded a sack in each of the first three games en route to first-team All-Big Ten honors from the media and coaches. He was second in the conference in tackles for losses (No. 6 in nation) with 21.5 for minus-117 yards). He was third in the Big Ten in sacks (No. 8 in nation) with 12.5 for minus-94 yards. His 12.5 sacks ranked No. 4 on the Penn State season list and his 21.5 TFL were No. 5 in school annals.
A finalist for the 2007 Ted Hendricks Defensive End Award, the quick and athletic Evans also was second in the Big Ten with five forced fumbles. A U.S. Army All-American at Christ The King High School, he was fifth on the squad with 54 tackles (31 solo) and also had three pass breakups.
Evans is a candidate for the 2008 Rotary Lombardi, Bronko Nagurski and Hendricks awards, and other post-season honors.
In addition to Evans, Athlon selected four Nittany Lions first team All-Big Ten: punter Jeremy Boone (Mechanicsburg), guard Rich Ohrnberger (East Meadow, N.Y), center A.Q. Shipley (Coraopolis) and kick returner A.J. Wallace (Waldorf, Md.), who also was selected to the third team as a cornerback.
In addition to Wallace, three more Nittany Lions earned third team All-Big Ten notice from Athlon: wide receiver Deon Butler (Woodbridge, Va.), defensive end Josh Gaines (Ft. Wayne, Ind.) and punt returner Derrick Williams (Greenbelt, Md.).
Wiilliams is on the cover of Athlon's Penn State regional edition, which goes on sale June 3. Athlon has Penn State ranked No. 23 in its pre-season Top 25.
In his 43rd season as head coach, Joe Paterno's squad returns 16 starters (8 offense, 6 defense, 2 specialists) from last year's 9-4 squad that defeated Texas A&M in the Valero Alamo Bowl. The Nittany Lions were ranked No. 25 in the final USA Today Coaches poll, earning their 33rd Top 25 finish under Paterno. Penn State has won 31 of its last 40 games, tied for eighth-best record in the nation over that span.
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