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Oct. 29, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; - Penn State senior standout Derrick Williams (Greenbelt, Md.) has been named to the Sporting News Today Mid-season All-America team, his fifth such honor this season.
One of the nation's top playmakers, Williams previously had been selected a Mid-season All-American by CBSsports.com, CollegeFootballNews.com, SI.com and Phil Steele's College Football.
A wide receiver and kick returner, Williams is one of four members of the undefeated Nittany Lion football team that has earned Mid-season All-America accolades. He is joined by: sophomore linebacker Navorro Bowman (District Heights, Md.), sophomore defensive end Aaron Maybin (Ellicott City, Md.) and senior center A.Q. Shipley (Coraopolis, Pa.).
Penn State was the only school with four players named to the Phil Steele's College Football first team and the only team with three players named to the SI.com and CollegeFootballNews.com first teams.
Williams has returned two kickoffs and one punt for a touchdown this season, giving him five combined for his career, the most by a player in the Joe Paterno-era. A co-captain, he is the only player in the nation that has returned a combined three kicks for scores in 2008.
In the 38-24 win over Illinois, Williams racked up 241 all-purpose yards, earning Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week honors. He leads the Big Ten and is No. 7 in the nation in kickoff returns, averaging 31.0 yards. The talented leader is second on the team in receptions with 28 for 295 yards and one touchdown and second in all-purpose yardage at 100.6. ypg. Williams ranks third all-time in career receptions (145) and 11th in career receiving yards (1,553).
Penn State is No. 3 in this week's Bowl Championship Series rankings and Associated Press, USA Today Coaches and Harris polls. The Nittany Lions are idle this week and return to action Nov. 8 at Iowa (5-3, 2-2). The Hawkeyes visit Illinois on Saturday. The Penn State-Iowa game will kick at 3:30 p.m. and air on ABC and ESPN, (outside of ABC coverage area), the Penn State Sports Network and GoPSUsports.com, the official website of Penn State Athletics.