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Nov. 28, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Six Penn State Football student-athletes have been selected to the 2011 All-Big Ten Teams in voting by the conference coaches and media. The Nittany Lions' contingent is led by senior defensive tackle Devon Still (Wilmington, Del.), who was selected the conference's Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year.
The All-Big Ten teams and several position awards were announced tonight live on BTN. Additional awards will be announced Tuesday and Wednesday leading up to the first Big Ten Football Championship Game on Saturday in Indianapolis.
Still was selected first-team All-Big Ten by the media and coaches and was joined on the coaches' first team by junior linebacker Gerald Hodges (Paulsboro, N.J.). Penn State sophomore tailback Silas Redd (Norwalk, Conn.) and senior safety Nick Sukay (Mount Pleasant) were named to the second-team by the media and coaches. Senior defensive end Jack Crawford (Longport, N.J.) was selected to the second-team by the coaches and sophomore Anthony Fera (Cypress, Texas) earned a spot on the media's second team as a placekicker. Fera also is among the conference's top punters.
Nine Nittany Lions earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten recognition: safety Drew Astorino (Edinboro), tackle Quinn Barham (Durham, N.C.), defensive tackle Jordan Hill (Steelton), cornerback D'Anton Lynn (Celina, Texas), wide receiver Derek Moye (Rochester), tackle Chima Okoli (Virginia Beach, Va.), cornerback Chaz Powell (New Freedom), linebacker Nate Stupar (State College) and guard Johnnie Troutman (Brown Mills, N.J).
"It's a tremendous honor," Still said. "I play in a conference with a lot of good defensive linemen. They (coaching staff) kept me on my toes throughout the season to be at my best. I think all of the credit goes to my coaches, especially Coach (Larry) Johnson. They put me in a position to make plays. And to be on a defense with so many talented players, I was able to play a dominant style of football because of the players around me."
Penn State has had 32 first-team All-Big Ten selections since 2005 (second-highest) and 25 second-team honorees over the past seven seasons.
Still becomes the fifth Nittany Lion to be selected the Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year, which honors former Penn State All-American Courtney Brown and former Michigan State standout Bubba Smith. Penn State's Brown (1999), Jimmy Kennedy (2002), Tamba Hali (2005) and Jared Odrick (2009) also were selected the Big Ten's premier defensive lineman. Still and Odrick are the only defensive tackles to be named Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year since 1994.
Penn State and Ohio State lead all conference teams with five Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year honorees since Penn State began Big Ten competition in 1993.
A co-captain, Still is a finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award and Bronko Nagurski Trophy, presented to the nation's top defensive player. He also is a finalist for the Outland Trophy, awarded to the nation's premier interior lineman. For the season, the former Howard Tech standout is second in the Big Ten in solo tackles for loss (15.0) and is tied for third in overall TFL (17.0), leading a Penn State defense that ranks in the Top 12 nationally in scoring, total, pass and pass efficiency defense.
Hodges leads Penn State with 97 tackles (55 solo) and ranks in the Top 15 in the Big Ten in hits (8th), sacks (T 12th, 4.5) and TFL (T 14th, 10.0). The former All-South Jersey standout at Paulsboro High School was selected Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week during consecutive weeks in late October.
Three-year starter and co-captain Astorino was selected the Nittany Lions' Big Ten Sportsmanship recipient.
No. 23 Penn State and No. 15 Wisconsin tied for the Big Ten Leaders Division title with 6-2 records. The Nittany Lions (9-3) are eligible to participate in their 44th bowl game. Penn State's 27 bowl wins are No. 3 nationally and 43 bowl visits are good for No. 8 in the nation. The Nittany Lions lead all Big Ten teams in bowl wins, appearances and winning percentage.