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Quartet of Nittany Lions to play in 63rd annual Senior Bowl

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Crawford, Lynn, Still and Troutman set to play in Jan. 28 all-star game

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; January 5, 2012 – A quartet of Penn State standouts have accepted invitations to play in the 63rd Annual Senior Bowl on Saturday, January 28.

Defensive end Jack Crawford (Longport, N.J.), cornerback D’Anton Lynn (Celina, Texas), All-America defensive tackle Devon Still (Wilmington, Del.) and guard Johnnie Troutman (Brown Mills, N.J.) are scheduled to play on the North squad in the contest. Kickoff is at 4:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. CT on NFL Network from Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala.

Other Penn State seniors may be selected to play in other all-star games, to be announced later this month.

The quartet of Nittany Lions playing in the Senior Bowl is Penn State highest number of participants in the contest since five in the 2003 Senior Bowl. Three of the five were NFL first round draft choices that spring (Michael Haynes, Bryant Johnson and Larry Johnson).

“This is the most Penn State players we’ve had in our game in nine years and all are very deserving of this opportunity,” Senior Bowl President and CEO Steve Hale said.  “We feel like we identified four strong prospects and are looking forward to watching them compete in front of the National Football League here at the Senior Bowl.”

The Nittany Lions’ Senior Bowl contingent is led by Still, a consensus first-team All-American.  He was selected Penn State’s 96th first-team All-American, earning a spot on 10 All-America teams. A senior co-captain, Still also was selected the 2011 Big Ten Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year and Smith- Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year. Still and former teammate Jared Odrick (2009) are the only defensive tackles who have earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year since 1994.

A starter in 25 games the past two seasons, Still graduated in December. For the season, Still was second in the Big Ten in solo tackles for loss (15.0) and tied for fifth in overall TFL (17.0-minus 77), leading a Penn State defense that ranked in the Top 10 nationally in scoring, total, pass and pass efficiency defense through the regular season. Still was among the conference leaders with 4.5 sacks (minus-36) and recorded 55 tackles, with one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and a pass break-up. The 6-5, 310-pound Still anchored a Penn State defense that held nine opponents to 18 points or less this season, as well as seven opponents to less than 100 rushing yards.

“I think it’s a great opportunity because I get to go up against some of the best players in the country and I get to prove that I’m also one of the best players in the country, so I’m definitely looking forward to playing in the game,” Still said. “I’m just looking forward to going against some of the best offensive guards and offensive tackles and just prove that I am a number one defensive tackle.”

Crawford recorded 40 tackles and a team-high 6.5 sacks (minus-39) this season. He was tied for sixth in the Big Ten with his 6.5 sacks and was tied for third on the team with six pass break-ups. He had a total of 7.5 TFL and also recovered a fumble. Crawford was selected second-team All-Big Ten and earned a State College Quarterback Club Special Award as the team's senior banquet. Crawford made 33 career starts, including every game this season, the fourth-highest total on the team.

“I hope to show my speed, especially in practices,” Crawford said.  “When it comes to the game and going against the best I want to show my speed and athleticism and knowledge for the game.  I can play hard, play through pain and keep working until the whistle blows.”

A three-year starter at cornerback, Lynn again was a significant force all over the field for the Nittany Lions. Lynn made his 37th career  start, second-highest on the team, in the TicketCity Bowl near his hometown of Celina, Texas. A three-time honorable-mention All-Big Ten selection, he finished his career by making four tackles (three solo) and breaking up two passes vs. Houston. Lynn was eighth on the team with 49 tackles (32 solo) and tied for the team lead with eight pass break-ups. He was tied for No. 7 in the Big Ten in passes defended.

“The Senior Bowl is the top all-star game you can play in, so getting an invite, I’m pretty honored and I’m real excited to be able to compete against the best players in the country and see where I’m at,” Lynn said.

Troutman started every game at left guard this season and was tied for fifth on the team with 32 career starts. He was instrumental in the  Nittany Lions leading the Big Ten in fewest sacks allowed (14). Troutman played a vital role in helping clear paths for tailback Silas Redd (1,241 yards), giving Penn State a 1,000-yard rusher for the seventh consecutive season. Redd’s rushing total ranks No. 10 in Penn State season records book. Troutman was selected honorable-mention All-Big Ten. A May, 2011 graduate, he also was selected the Brooks-Irvine Football Club New Jersey Division I College Player of the Year.

“It was a great honor for me as an athlete because not a lot of people get invited to play in the Senior Bowl.  I’m just excited to play in the game to show everybody my abilities,” Troutman said. “I’ve heard it’s a great experience. It definitely gets intense during the week but everybody comes together and pushes each other to get better and I can’t wait to embrace that.”

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