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Dec. 11, 2007
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State linebacker Dan Connor has been selected a first team All-American by the Associated Press, earning his second first team recognition thus far in 2007.
In addition, Connor today was selected a second team All-American by SI.com. Sophomore defensive end Maurice Evans (Brooklyn, N.Y.) earned honorable mention recognition.
Last week, Connor was named to the Walter Camp Football Foundation All-America Team, the nation's oldest All-America team. He is Penn State's 91st first team All-America selection and the 14th Nittany Lion to earn first team All-America honors twice. He earned first team All-America honors from The Sporting News in 2006.
Connor joins Dennis Onkotz (1968-69), Shane Conlan (1985-86), LaVar Arrington (1998-99) and Paul Posluszny (2005-06) as Nittany Lion linebackers that have earned first team All-America accolades twice. A senior tri-captain, Connor is the 74th first-team All-America selection under Coach Joe Paterno. At least one Nittany Lion has been named an All-American in 37 of the 42 seasons Paterno has served as head coach.
The Nittany Lions' career tackle leader with 410 hits, Connor was one of three finalists for the 2007 Butkus Award, presented to the nation's top linebacker. He also was a semifinalist for Walter Camp Player of the Year and the Rotary Lombardi Award.
A native of Wallingford, Pa., Connor leads Penn State and the Big Ten with 136 tackles (66 solo) for an 11.3 per game average that ranks No. 7 in the nation. His 136 tackles are No. 4 on the school season list He is second on the team and 10th in the Big Ten with 14.0 TFL for minus-61 yards. Connor is second on the team and 10th in the conference with 6.5 sacks (minus-50). He also has one interception, one fumble recovery and six pass break-ups.
The former Strath Haven High School All-American has 20 career double digit tackle games, including eight this season. He became the Nittany Lions' career tackle leader against Purdue on Nov. 3, passing Posluszny, who made 372 stops from 2003-06. Connor made a career-high 18 tackles against Ohio State and Temple this season and twice was named Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.
A finalist for the Ted Hendricks Defensive End Award, Evans has had a superlative campaign in his first year as a starter. A first-team All-Big Ten selection by the media and coaches, he leads the Nittany Lions with 21.5 tackles for losses and 12.5 sacks (minus-94). He has 48 tackles (27 solo) to rank fifth on the team, has forced three fumbles, recovered a fumble and has three pass break-ups.
One of top defensive linemen in the nation, Evans is second in the Big Ten in TFL (No. 6 in the nation), third in sacks (No. 5 nationally) and tied for fifth in the conference in forced fumbles.
Coach Joe Paterno's Nittany Lions completed the regular season with an 8-4 record and will face Texas A&M (7-5) in the Valero Alamo Bowl. The Nittany Lions' second Alamo Bowl appearance is Saturday, Dec. 29 at 8:00 p.m. ET in the The Alamodome in San Antonio. Penn State will be playing in its 34th bowl game under Paterno, who is the all-time leader in bowl appearances and wins (22-10-1 record).
Penn State's remaining tickets for the Valero Alamo Bowl can be ordered via www.GoPSUsports.com, the official website of Penn State Athletics. Fans also can purchase tickets by calling (814) 865-5555 or (800) 863-3336.