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July 1, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The preseason accolades have begun to roll into Happy Valley and 12 Penn State football players found themselves among the honorees on Phil Steele's College Football Preview's four-team, preseason All-Big Ten contingent.
Allen Robinson (Southfield, Mich.) highlighted the selections for the Nittany Lions, as the junior wide receiver earned first team accolades. Sophomore defensive end Deion Barnes (Philadelphia), senior linebacker Glenn Carson (Manahawkin, N.J.) and senior guard John Urschel (Williamsville, N.Y.) each eared a nod on the second team, five players earned third team honors and three Lions were named to the fourth team.
After a breakout sophomore season, Robinson enters the 2013 season as one of the top returning wide receivers in the NCAA. The Big Ten Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year in 2012, Robinson will look to duplicate his record-setting 2012 campaign which featured a school-record 77 receptions. He became just the second Penn State wideout to amass over 1,000 yards receiving, finishing the year with 1,013, and piled up 11 touchdown catches. The junior is one of only seven returning receivers in the NCAA to compile over 1,000 yards receiving with 10-plus touchdowns and over 75 receptions in 2012. He is also one of only 11 returning BCS conference student-athletes to compile over 1,000 yards receiving in 2012.
The only offensive selection on the second team, Urschel was a first team All-Big Ten performer in 2012 when he started all 12 games and protected 3,000-yard passer Matt McGloin and paved the way for 1,000-yard rusher Zach Zwinak. The 6-foot-3, 307-pound graduate student is a force on the offensive line and in the classroom, graduating with his undergraduate degree in mathematics in three years, earning CoSIDA Academic All-America honors and his master's degree in mathematics with a 4.0 GPA during the 2012-13 academic year and is currently working on a second master's degree in math education.
On the defensive side of the ball, Barnes and Carson each earned second team recognition from the publication.
Barnes was bestowed the Thompson-Randle El Big Ten Freshman of the Year award after wreaking havoc in opposing backfields during his first collegiate season on the gridiron. The 6-foot-4, 249-pounder is an imposing force up front for the Nittany Lions and compiled 26 tackles - 10 for a loss - and boasted six sacks. His resume also included three forced fumbles and his presence on the edge helped the Lions hold the opposition to just 19.1 points-per-game, which ranked second in the Big Ten and No. 16 nationally.
Another major force in the Nittany Lions defense last season, Carson captained a defensive unit that ranked among the NCAA leaders sacks, rushing, passing and total defense and scoring average. The middle linebacker ranked third on the team in tackles (85) and has started every game in the middle of the Penn State defense since his sophomore season. Carson has made 24 career starts, which is tops on a roster that returns 16 starters. Over the past two seasons, Carson has amassed 159 tackles - 68 solo - and has 18 games with at least five stops during that span.
Offensively, junior running back Zach Zwinak (Frederick, Md.) and sophomore tight end Kyle Carter (Bear, Del.) both earned third team laurels. Junior safety Adrian Amos (Baltimore, Md.), junior linebacker Mike Hull (Canonsburg, Pa.) and senior defensive tackle DaQuan Jones (Johnson City, N.Y.) each found themselves among the third team honors on defense, while freshman defensive tackle Austin Johnson (Galloway, N.J.) and senior safety Malcolm Willis (Marbury, Md.) were named to Phil Steele's fourth team.
Junior Jesse Della Valle (Pittsburgh, Pa.) was the lone special team's player honored by the publication, as he occupied the punt returner position on the fourth team.
The Nittany Lions will open their 127th season when they face off against Syracuse inside MetLife Stadium on August 31. The 2013 season opener will kickoff at 3:30 in East Rutherford, N.J. For tickets in the Penn State seating sections, fans can call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Nittany Lion Club members can order tickets at 1-800-NITTANY or online via their Account Manager.
For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing season tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit www.GoPSUsports.com or call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
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