University Park, Centre County—Senior Devon Still (Wilmington, Del.) has been added to the Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List, an honor presented annually to the nation's defensive player of the year by the Maxwell Football Club.
Still has been a significant force as the anchor of Penn State's talented defensive line in 2011. For the season, the co-captain ranks second in the Big Ten with nine tackles for loss (minus-46) and is tied for the team lead with two sacks. With 30 tackles, including 16 solos, Still ranks fifth among Nittany Lion defenders and has registered one fumble recovery.
Last Saturday, in Penn State's 13-3 win over Iowa, Still recorded six tackles, with 1.5 for a loss and a sack for minus-12 yards, as the Nittany Lions held the Hawkeyes' 35 points below their season average and stifled the Big Ten's top passing attack.
On Monday, Still was selected runner-up for Big Ten Mid-season Defensive Player of the Year by ESPN.com.
Still headlines a Nittany Lion defense that is among the na tion's elite units, ranking in the top five nationally in four of the primary categories. Penn State is fourth in the nation in total defense (250.8 ypg), fifth in scoring (10.5 ppg), fifth in pass defense (157.7 ypg), and fourth in pass efficiency de fense (89.77). The Nittany Lions have held five of their initial six opponents to 10 points or less for the first time since 1978.
The Chuck Bednarik Award was established in 1995 and is presented in honor of linebacking great Chuck Bednarik, a member of both the College Football and NFL Halls of Fame.
Penn State football student-athletes have won the Chuck Bednarik Award four times LaVar Arrington in 1999, Paul Posluszny in 2005 and 2006, and Dan Connor in 2007. Aaron Maybin was a Bednarik finalist in 2008.
Semifinalists for the Bednarik Award will be announced on October 31 while three finalists will be named on November 21. The winner of the 2011 Bednarik Award will be revealed as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show, which is scheduled for December 8. The formal presentation of the award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Harrah's Entertainment Atlantic City on March 2, 2012.
Penn State hosts Purdue on Saturday in the teams' first meeting since 2008 (15th overall) and first as members of the Big Ten Leaders Division. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. at Beaver Stadium for Penn State's 92nd Homecoming game, which will be televised on the Big Ten Network and will also air on the Penn State Sports Network and www.GoPSUsports.com.