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Penn State's Wisniewski named Wuerffel Trophy finalist

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Senior lineman among 10 finalists for honor that recognizes academics, athletics and community service

Penn State's Stefen Wisniewski has earned his fourth honor this season for his athletic, academic and community service leadership, being named one of 10 finalists for the Wuerffel Trophy. He is the Nittany Lions’ first Wuerffel Trophy finalist.

The Wuerffel Trophy is named for former Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel, winner of the 1996 Heisman Trophy and the National Football Foundation’s Draddy Trophy (now the Campbell Trophy).

The Wuerffel Trophy is presented by the ALL Sports Association of Fort Walton Beach, Fla. to the college football player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.

A three-year starter on the Nittany Lions’ offensive line, Wisniewski this fall has been named:

 - National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete;

 - 2010 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® for community service

 - Among 10 finalists for the 2010 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award

Wisniewski, Texas defensive end Sam Acho and Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder are the nation’s only football scholar-athletes who have been selected for all four accolades.

The other Wuerffel Trophy finalists joining Wisniewski are:  Kyle Adams (Purdue), Ben Chappell (Indiana), Kirk Cousins (Michigan State), Greg McElory (Alabama), Chima Nwachukw (Washington State), Dominik Riley (Memphis), Chris Stewart (Notre Dame), Acho and Ponder.

A senior guard, Wisniewski has established himself as one of the nation's exceptional football student-athletes.

A secondary education major in the Schreyer Honors College, Wisniewski was selected a 2009 first-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American®, as he added to his 2008 second-team honor. Owner of a superlative 3.91 grade-point average, the squad's highest mark, Wisniewski will have an opportunity this fall to become Penn State's first three-time Academic All-American®.

A starter in 34 of the last 35 games, Wisniewski was named a 2010 first team pre-season All-American by Sporting News, Phil Steele's College Football Preview and Lindy's Football Preview. He also is on the Watch List for the Rotary Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy.

Wisniewski earned third team All-America and first team All-Big Ten accolades in 2009, starting all 13 games at center for the Nittany Lions. He moved back to guard during spring practice, where he started 12 games in 2008, helping Penn State win the Big Ten Championship and a berth in the Rose Bowl.

The talented and highly-motivated Wisniewski is among Penn State’s most accomplished and community service-oriented student-athletes. He has made mission trips to the Dominican Republic during spring break this past March and in the summer of 2009. Wisniewski has participated in the Student-Athlete Advisory Board (SAAB)’s Autism Awareness reading program, THON Make-A-Wish program, Pennsylvania Special Olympics’ State Summer Games, Habitat for Humanity, Athletic Directors Leadership Institute, Athletes In Action, The Second Mile and tutored local high school students, among his vast array of community service activities.

A U.S. Army All-American at Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School, Wisniewski has earned a perfect 4.0 GPA the past three semesters. He spent the 2009-10 academic year student teaching 10th-grade English at State College Area High School.

Winners of three consecutive games, Penn State (6-3, 3-2) visits No. 8/7 Ohio State (8-1, 4-1) on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET at Ohio Stadium. The clash will air on ABC (ESPN in outer markets), the Penn State Sports Network and www.GoPSUsports.com. The Buckeyes lead the series, 13-12, and the visiting team has won the last three contests.

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