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Dec. 11, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - December 11, 2011 - Penn State All-American and co-captain Devon Still (Wilmington, Del.) has been named the Most Valuable Player of the 2011 Nittany Lion football team.
Still was presented the Outstanding Senior Player Award to highlight the State College Quarterback Club's annual banquet honoring the Nittany Lion football team. A crowd of nearly 1,000 packed the main ballroom at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel to honor 23 seniors and the 2011 squad.
The 23 seniors have been instrumental in Penn State earning a 38-13 record the past four years, including a Big Ten Championship, and berths in four different New Year's bowls games.
Still is just the third defensive tackle to be selected Penn State's Outstanding Senior Player since the award's inception in 1978, joining Lou Benfatti (1993) and Brandon Noble (1996).
Still has earned a quartet of first-team All-America accolades in the past week from: Walter Camp Football Foundation, Football Writers Association of America, CBSsports.com and AT&T/ESPN. The 2011 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and Defensive Lineman of the Year, Still gives Penn State 10 first-team All-Americans in the past seven years.
In addition to the player awards (see below), former Nittany Lion All-America linebacker Shane Conlan was presented the Alumni Athlete Award. Penn State's sixth two-time All-American, he led the Nittany Lions' outstanding 1986 defense with 63 solo tackles en route to a 12-0 record and the National Championship. A first round selection by the Buffalo Bills, Conlan was selected the 1987 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
The other 2011 State College Quarterback Club award winners were:
- John Bruno, Jr. Memorial Award (outstanding member of special teams) - senior cornerback/kick returner Chaz Powell (New Freedom);
- Ridge Riley Award (senior for "sportsmanship, scholarship, leadership and friendship") - senior safety Drew Astorino (Edinboro);
- Richard Maginnis Memorial Award (outstanding offensive lineman) - senior tackle Quinn Barham (Durham, N.C.) and senior guard Johnnie Troutman (Brown Mills, N.J.);
- Robert B. Mitinger, Jr. Award (senior who exhibits courage, character and social responsibility) - Senior tight end Andrew Szczerba (Wilmington, Del.);
- Outstanding Walk-on Award (walk-on player who exemplifies total commitment, loyalty, hard work and courage) - senior long snapper Jon Rohrbaugh (Ellicott City, Md.);
- Quarterback Club Special Awards - senior defensive end Jack Crawford (Longport, N.J.), senior wide receiver Derek Moye (Rochester), senior linebacker Nate Stupar (State College) and senior safety Nick Sukay (Mount Pleasant);
- The Nittany Lion Club Academic Achievement Award (senior with highest GPA) was presented to swide receiver Ryan Scherer (Avon Lake, Ohio).
No. 22 Penn State and Wisconsin tied for the Big Ten Leaders Division title with 6-2 records. The Nittany Lions (9-3) will play No. 19 Houston (12-1) in the TicketCity Bowl in Dallas on Jan. 2 in the first bowl game of 2012. 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 victories and winning percentage (65.1, 27-14-2 record) and are No. 2 in bowl appearances.
Playing in a New Year's bowl for the sixth time in the last seven years, tickets for Penn State's clash with Houston are on sale at www.GoPSUsports.com or by calling 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-6 p.m.