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Penn State's Still named Bronko Nagurski Trophy Finalist

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Nittany Lion defensive tackle among five finalists for nation’s top defensive player honor

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; November 17, 2011 – Penn State senior defensive tackle Devon Still (Wilmington, Del.) has been selected one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, presented to the nation’s top defensive player.

The Big Ten’s leader in solo tackles for loss with 15.0 TFL, Still is joined as a Nagurski Trophy finalist by: Alabama defensive back Mark Barron, LSU defensive back Morris Claiborne, Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly and Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus.

The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the Charlotte Touchdown Club have awarded the Bronko Nagurski Trophy annually since 1993. The 2011 recipient will be announced during the annual Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet presented by ACN scheduled for Monday, December 12 at The Westin Hotel in Charlotte.

A co-captain, Still leads a Penn State defense that is ranked in Top 10 nationally in scoring (3rd, 12.9 ppg), total (8th, 287.2 ppg), pass (5th, 167.7 ypg) and pass efficiency defense (4th, 96.0). The Nittany Lions are ranked Top 30 in turnovers caused (T 14th, 23), TFL (T 16th) and rushing (28th, 119.5 ppg) defense. The 6-5, 310-pound Still anchors a Penn State defense that has held 8 of 10 opponents to 18 points or less this season, as well as six opponents to less than 100 rushing yards.

Still was selected a first-team Mid-season All-American by CBSsports.com, ESPN.com and SI.com. A semifinalist for the 2011 Chuck Bednarik Award, he was selected the Big Ten’s No. 2 choice for Mid-season Defensive Player of the Year by ESPN.com.

Still is No. 2 in the Big Ten in overall TFL (16.5 for minus-75) and has recorded 4.0 sacks (minus-34) to rank in Top 10 in the conference. Still has made 53 tackles (28 solo), with one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

In the Nittany Lions’ 10-7 win over Illinois on Oct. 29, Still made a career-high 10 tackles and tied his career-high with 3.5 TFL (also had 3.5 TFL vs. Florida in 2011 Outback Bowl)

“Devon’s played great football,” said interim head coach Tom Bradley. “The thing that’s probably overlooked is the responsibility that he’s taken on this football team with his leadership. I’ve leaned on him. He’s done an excellent job just being a good, solid teammate to everybody. He’s spent an awful lot of time in that locker room, hanging around the guys trying to express what he thinks, as a team, we need to do to get to the next level.”

“The 2011 Bronko Nagurski award finalists represent excellence both on and off the playing field,” commented John Rocco, Executive Director of the Charlotte Touchdown Club. “Each of these young men has earned the honor of having his name associated with football legend Bronko Nagurski and have represented themselves and their universities with distinction.”

Still joins former Penn State All-Americans LaVar Arrington, Courtney Brown and Tamba Hali as finalists for the Nagurski Trophy.

The keynote address for the banquet will be given by University of Georgia Head Football Coach, Mark Richt. University of Florida and NFL legend, Jack Youngblood, will receive this year’s Bronko Nagurski Legends Award presented by Florida East Coast Railway.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is presented annually by the Charlotte Touchdown Club and Football Writers Association of America to the nation’s most outstanding NCAA defensive football player. The Charlotte Touchdown Club also honors local college and high school football players and since the club’s inception, it has raised more than $1,250,000 for student athletic scholarships throughout the Charlotte Metro Area.

The No. 21 Penn State (8-2, 5-1) is atop the Big Ten Leaders Division and visits Ohio State (6-4, 3-3) Saturday at 3:30 p.m. (ABC/ESPN) in a pivotal division game. The Nittany Lions would clinch no worse than a tie for the division title with a win in Columbus.

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