Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Devon Still: Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year

In this tumultuous, inconsistent 9-3 season for Penn State, one player stood out above the rest and consistently performed at an elite level. That player was senior defensive tackle Devon Still, a man who was arguably the best player on the field in every single game the Nittany Lions played until the season finale at Wisconsin.

Those efforts have not gone unnoticed. First, Still was named as a finalist for the Nagursky Trophy and Bednarik Award, given to the nation's top defensive player, and the Outland Trophy, given to the nation's best lineman. And now, he's been named the 2011 Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year, bringing home the Smith-Brown Award named after Penn State's Courtney Brown and Michigan State's Bubba Smith.

Still absolutely dominated this season and was without question the driving force behind Penn State's dominant defense. There is no question he was the team's best player, and his development into one of the nation's best defensive players puts another notch in Larry Johnson Sr.'s impressive coaching belt.

Every year, Johnson seems to have someone (or someones) who emerges to take the Big Ten by storm. This year it was Still, who joins Courtney Brown, Jimmy Kennedy, Tamba Hali and Jared Odrick as Penn Staters coached up by LJ to win Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year, and that's not even mentioning players like Anthony Adams, Michael Haynes, Jay Alford, Ed Johnson and Ollie Ogbu, to name a few. Larry Johnson Sr. is a treasure, and if anyone on this coaching staff can survive and stick around, I hope it's him.

Congrats to Still, who was an absolute stud this year.

Gerald Hodges was also named First Team All Big Ten by the coaches, while Silas Redd, Jack Crawford, Nick Sukay and Anthony Fera were named second team.

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