Monday, November 19, 2007

Five Penn State players earn Big ten honors

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., November 19, 2007 -- Five members of Penn State football team have earned first team All-Big Ten honors, the second-highest total among all conference schools. A total of seven Nittany Lions earned all-conference recognition.

Penn State’s five first team honorees were second only to Ohio State's six and the fourth-highest total in the Nittany Lions' 15 years of Big Ten competition. The only others years Penn State had more first team selections were in 1994 (7), 1998 (6) and 2005 (6).

Senior All-America linebacker Dan Connor (Wallingford) and junior cornerback Justin King (Pittsburgh) were selected first team All-Big Ten after earning second team all-conference honors in 2006. Connor leads the league with 136 tackles and King leads the Big Ten with 17 passes defended. A finalist for the Butkus and Bednarik Awards, Connor is Penn State’s career tackle leader.

Also garnering first team all-conference honors were redshirt freshman punter Jeremy Boone (Mechanicsburg), sophomore defensive end Maurice Evans (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and junior center A.Q. Shipley (Coraopolis). Boone led the Big Ten in punting most of the year, finishing the regular season with a 42.2 yard average to rank No. 2. Evans is second in the league with 21.5 tackles for losses and third with 12.5 sacks, ranking in the top 10 nationally in both categories. A two-year starter, Shipley anchors an offensive line that has been instrumental in the Lions averaging 399.0 yards per game and leading the Big Ten in Red Zone success at 89.5 percent (51 of 57).

Boone, Connor, Evans and King were first team selections by the media and coaches and Shipley was a first team choice by the coaches.

Earning second team All-Big Ten honors by the media and coaches were junior linebacker Sean Lee (Pittsburgh) and junior guard Rich Ohrnberger (East Meadow, N.Y.). Lee, like Connor, was a two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honoree this season. He is No. 3 in the conference with 124 tackles. A two-year starter, Ohrnberger has been instrumental in helping tailback Rodney Kinlaw rush for 1,186 yards this season, the 10th-highest total in Penn State history.

Five Nittany Lions earned honorable mention all- conference recognition: junior tackle Gerald Cadogan (Portsmouth, Ohio), junior defensive end Josh Gaines (Ft. Wayne, Ind.), junior placekicker Kevin Kelly (Langhorne), senior tailback Rodney Kinlaw (Goose Creek, S.C.) and junior safety Anthony Scirrotto (West Deptford, N.J.).

Senior quarterback Anthony Morelli (Pittsburgh) was selected Penn State’s Sportsmanship winner.

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