University Park, Pa. — Senior co-captains Paul Posluszny (Aliquippa) and Levi Brown (Norfolk, Va.) lead the list of seven Nittany Lions that have been named to the CollegeFootballNews.com and FoxSports.com All-Big Ten and All-America teams.
An outside linebacker, Posluszny was named a first team All-American and the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. The 2005 Butkus and Bednarik Award winner, Posluszny is rated the Big Ten\’s No. 2 player overall and is the only defensive player listed on CollegeFootballNews.com and FoxSports.com\’s Heisman Trophy Top 20 Watch List. A consensus All-American and first team Academic All-American in 2005, Posluszny led Penn State with 116 tackles last season and has 256 career stops, needing 88 to pass Greg Buttle and become the school\’s career leader. Posluszny is Penn State\’s first two-time team captain since Mike Reid and Steve Smear in 1969.
A tackle, Brown was selected a second team All-American by CollegeFootballNews.com and FoxSports.com. Brown is among the top candidates for the Outland Trophy, which is presented to the nation\’s top offensive or defensive lineman by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). He has started 34 of the last 35 games and was a second team All-American in 2005. Brown, who graduated last December in 3-1/2 years, was instrumental in Penn State leading the Big Ten in scoring (35.2 ppg) and ranking second in rushing (233.1 ypg) in conference games last season.
Four Nittany Lions were named to the Big Ten\’s first team defense: Posluszny, senior defensive tackle Jay Alford (Orange, N.J.), junior linebacker Dan Connor (Wallingford) and sophomore cornerback Justin King (Pittsburgh). Senior linebacker Tim Shaw (Livonia, Mich.) earned second team all-conference accolades.
All the Nittany Lions\’ linebackers return from last year\’s top 10 defense and The Sporting News ranks the group the nation\’s No. 1 linebacker unit.
Brown was a first team All-Big Ten choice by CollegeFootballNews.com and FoxSports.com. Sophomore wide receiver Derrick Williams (Greenbelt, Md.) was named second team all-conference. Williams averaged 11.7 yards on his 57 touches last year, which included 22 catches for 289 yards and one touchdown, two rushing touchdowns and a 21.1 kickoff return average. He missed the last five games with a broken arm.
The Sporting News has rated the Nittany Lions\’ receivers No. 2 in the nation. Junior Terrell Golden (9-210-1) and sophomores Deon Butler (37-691-9) and Jordan Norwood (32-422-0) will join Williams to form one of the nation\’s most athletic and dynamic wideout units.
Entering his 41st season as head coach, Joe Paterno\’s squad returns 34 letterwinners and 11 starters from last year\’s 11-1 team that captured the Big Ten and FedEx Orange Bowl titles. Penn State opens its 120th season on September 2, as the Nittany Lions host Akron, the 2005 Mid-American Conference champion, at 3:30 p.m. in Beaver Stadium.
A limited number of tickets remain for the Akron and Temple games (Nov. 11) in the 107,282-seat Beaver Stadium. Tickets are available exclusively at http://www.GoPSUsports.com online. Phone orders, counter and group sales for Akron and Temple will take place only if tickets remain on Friday. Phone and counter sales will begin Friday, July 21 at 8 a.m. if tickets remain. The numbers to call are: 814-865-5555 or 800-863-3336 weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
The tremendous enthusiasm to watch the Nittany Lions has resulted in sellouts of all four Big Ten home games, as well as the contest with Youngstown State (Sept. 16, 3:30 p.m.). Tickets have been exhausted for Penn State\’s conference home games with Northwestern (Sept. 30), Michigan (Oct. 14, 8:00 p.m.), Illinois (Oct. 21-Homecoming) and the Senior Day battle with Michigan State (Nov. 18), with the winner claiming the Land Grant Trophy.