UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Seven Penn State Football student-athletes have been selected to the 2012 All-Big Ten teams in voting by the conference coaches and media, with six Nittany Lions earning first-team honors.
The Nittany Lions’ contingent is led by senior Michael Mauti (Mandeville, La.), who was selected the Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year and sophomore Allen Robinson (Southfield, Mich.), who was named the Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year.
Mauti, Robinson and senior defensive tackle Jordan Hill (Steelton) were selected first-team All-Big Ten by the coaches and media. Senior center Matt Stankiewitch (Orwigsburg) and junior guard John Urschel (Williamsville, N.Y.) were selected to the coaches’ first-team and media second-team and redshirt freshman tight end Kyle Carter (Bear, Del.) was named to the media first-team.
Senior linebacker Gerald Hodges (Paulsboro, N.J.) earned second-team All-Big Ten honors from the coaches and media, earning all-conference accolades for the second consecutive year.
Hill also was selected Penn State’s Sportsmanship recipient.
Seven Nittany Lions earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten recognition: sophomore cornerback Adrian Amos (Baltimore), freshman defensive end Deion Barnes (Philadelphia), senior tackle Mike Farrell (Pittsburgh), senior quarterback Matt McGloin (Scranton), senior cornerback Stephon Morris (Washington, D.C.), senior defensive end Sean Stanley (Rockville, Md.) and sophomore running back Zach Zwinak (Frederick, Md.)
The All-Big Ten teams and several position awards were announced Monday (Nov. 26) night live on BTN. Additional awards will be announced at 7 p.m. today on BTN, leading up to Saturday’s Big Ten Football Championship Game in Indianapolis.
Penn State has had 38 first-team All-Big Ten selections since 2005 and 26 second-team honorees over the past eight seasons.
Under the direction of head coach Bill O’Brien, the Nittany Lions won eight of their last 10 games, to finish with a 6-2 Big Ten record and 8-4 overall. O’Brien is the first Penn State first-year head coach to win eight games in the 126 years of the program.
A co-captain, Mauti earns the first Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year honor for “LinebackerU.” in its second year of being presented. The award is named after Dick Butkus (Illinois) and Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern). Mauti and Fitzgerald were coached by Ron Vanderlinden, who has been Penn State’s linebackers coach since 2001.
A semifinalist for the Butkus Award, Mauti ranks in the Top 10 in the Big Ten in tackles (seventh, 96), interceptions (fourth, 3) and forced fumbles (third, 3). He also leads the Big Ten in interception return yards (125). Mauti has 4.0 TFL, 2.5 sacks (minus-25), three interceptions, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and two pass breakups. The former Mandeville High School standout started the initial 11 games, suffering a knee injury in the first quarter vs. Indiana on Nov. 17 that ended his season.
"This year has been the most fun I’ve ever had playing,” Mauti said. “This linebacker corps is very special. Gerald (Hodges) had a great year and Glenn (Carson) is really making his mark. Coach Vanderlinden was a big reason why I came to Penn State, and I have learned from the best. Coach (Pat) Fitzgerald is someone I looked to up to when he was playing, and I have a lot of respect for him as a player and a coach."
Robinson earns Penn State’s first Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year in its second year of being awarded. The honor is named for Pat Richter (Wisconsin) and Desmond Howard (Michigan). Robinson led the Big Ten in receptions (77), receiving yards (1,013) and touchdown receptions (11), breaking the school season receptions record. The former Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Prep standout’s yardage was third-highest and his touchdown catches were second-highest in a season at Penn State, trailing only All-American Bobby Engram in both categories. Robinson made nine catches of 30 yards or longer this season and a total of 16 for 20 yards or more.
"It means a lot after all the hard work I put in during the off-season,” said Robinson, who made three catches for 29 yards in 2011. “It definitely paid off this year."
A redshirt freshman, Carter was second on the team with 36 receptions for 453 yards (12.6) and two touchdowns. The nation’s only freshman named to the John Mackey Award Mid-season Watch List, he had six catches for 20 yards or longer. Carter was selected Big Ten Freshman of the Week after making six catches for a season-high 85 yards in the 38-14 win at Iowa. The former William Penn High School standout missed three games due to injury.
Hill was fourth on the team with 64 tackles, second with 4.5 sacks and tied for third with 8.5 tackles for loss. The former Steelton-Highspire High School standout also had one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. A two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honoree this season, his tackle total was No. 3 among Big Ten defensive linemen. In his final game, Hill made a career-high 12 tackles, with two sacks and 3.0 TFL in last Saturday’s 24-21 overtime win over Wisconsin.
"It means a lot to not only me, but the entire defensive line,” said Hill, who started 28 career games, most on the 2012 squad. “It says a lot about who we are and a lot about Coach (Larry) Johnson and how he coaches us. He has coached a lot of guys who have tremendous accomplishments, and I am just another one of those guys at Penn State that adds to the wall. It feels great."
Stankiewitch started at center all 25 games the past two seasons and made 27 career starts, second-highest on the squad. A Rimington Trophy candidate, he helped quarterback Matt McGloin break several Penn State season and career passing records and Zach Zwinak to rush for 1,000 yards this season, gaining 100 yards or more in six Big Ten games.