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Nov. 13, 2008
Penn State sophomore defensive end Aaron Maybin (Ellicott City, Md.) has been named one of 15 "Players to Watch" for the 2008 Walter Camp Football Foundation Player of the Year award.
In addition, Maybin has been named to the Hendricks Award Mid-Season Watch List by the Ted Hendricks Foundation, which honors the nation's best defensive end.
Maybin is one of only three Big Ten players among the Walter Camp Player of the Year candidates and one of only four sophomores. Five finalists for the Walter Camp Award will be announced on December 2, with the winner being announced December 11 during the 6 p.m. edition of ESPN's SportsCenter.
The Hendricks Mid-Season Watch List includes only three sophomores among its 33 players. The candidates will be narrowed down to five or six finalists in the final weeks of the season. The winner will be announced December 10.
Maybin has emerged as one of the nation's top defensive playmakers in 2008. In addition to today's recognitions, Maybin also was selected to four Mid-season All-America teams. He was named Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week for his stellar defensive effort in Penn State's 48-7 victory at Wisconsin on Oct. 11.
In his first season as a starter, Maybin leads the Big Ten in sacks and is second in tackles for losses. He has 11 solo sacks (minus-72 yards) and is tied for No. 4 in the nation in sacks per game at 1.10. TCU's Jerry Hughes, who is also a candidate for both awards, is the only player in the nation with more solo sacks than Maybin.
In addition to his 11 sacks, the former Mount Hebron High School standout is second in the conference and sixth nationally in tackles for losses with 16.5 (minus-83) for a 1.65 average. Indiana's Jammie Kirlew is second in the nation (1.85). Maybin also has forced three fumbles and has two pass break-ups this season.
In his dominating performance at Wisconsin, Maybin recorded six tackles (five solo), a career-high 3.5 tackles for loss, two sacks for minus-13 yards, two forced fumbles and a pass break-up. He made one of the key plays in the game, as he stripped quarterback Allan Evridge, with linebacker Josh Hull recovering the fumble at the UW 16 with 1:32 left in the first half. Two plays later, quarterback Darryl Clark (Youngstown, Ohio) scored from two yards out to push the Penn State lead to 24-7 at halftime.
In the 46-17 win over Michigan, Maybin had another big day, with four tackles, 2.0 tackles for losses and forcing a fumble on a sack that defensive tackle Abe Koroma (Hershey, Pa.) recovered at the Michigan 20 in the fourth quarter. The Lions scored a touchdown five plays later for a 36-17 lead.
Maybin also delivered a big nine-yard sack against Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor and brought pressure throughout the 13-6 Penn State win in Columbus.
Players joining Maybin on the Walter Camp list from Big Ten schools are Michigan State running back Javon Ringer and Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis. Big Ten linemen that are included on the Hendricks Watch List with Maybin are Kirlew, Michigan State's Trevor Anderson, Michigan's Brandon Graham, Minnesota's Willie VanDeSteeg and Northwestern's Corey Wootten.
Penn State has two previous winners of the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. Former running back and Heisman Trophy winner John Cappelletti won the award in 1973. In 2002, former Nittany Lion and current Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson garnered the honors.
Coach Joe Paterno's No. 8/7 Nittany Lions (9-1, 5-1) host Indiana on Saturday in the first meeting between the teams in Beaver Stadium since 2003. The contest will kick at 12:00 p.m. and air nationally on the Big Ten Network. The Penn State Sports Network and GoPSUsports.com also will air the contest.
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