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Posluszny Wins Bednarik For Second Consecutive YearDecember 07, 2006
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.; December 7, 2006 -Ė Penn State senior linebacker Paul Posluszny has become just the second two-time winner of the Bednarik Award.
Posluszny (Aliquippa) captured the honor at the nationally televised Home Depot College Football Awards Show at the Atlantic Dance Hall at Disneyís Boardwalk.
The Bednarik Award is presented to the nationís top defensive player by the Maxwell Football Club. The award was first presented in 1995 in honor of former Philadelphia Eagles standout Chuck Bednarik.
Posluszny was announced as the winner by Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald, who was the only previous two-time winner of the Bednarik Award during his playing days as a standout linebacker for the Wildcats.
Posluszny also was named to the Walter Camp Football Foundation All-America team, becoming Penn Stateís 89th first team All-America selection and the 13th Nittany Lion to earn first team All-America honors twice.
Senior tackle Levi Brown (Norfolk, Va.) was selected a Walter Camp second team All-American, earning All-America honors for the second consecutive year.
A 2005 consensus All-American and two-time first team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American, Fitzgerald was coached by Ron Vanderlinden, who is Penn Stateís linebackers coach and works with Posluszny and junior Dan Connor (Wallingford), who also was a finalist for the Bednarik Award. Penn State was the first school to have a pair of Bednarik Award finalists in the 12 years the honor has been presented.
Penn State senior Jeremy Kapinos (Springfield, Va.) was a finalist for the Ray Guy Award, presented to the nationís top punter.
Posluszny also is a finalist for the Lott Trophy, which will be awarded Sunday to the nationís IMPACT defensive player of the year and was a finalist for the Rotary Lombardi Award, which is presented to the nationís top lineman or linebacker.
The 2005 Butkus Award winner, Posluszny is the leader of one of the nationís top defenses. He leads Penn State with 108 tackles, which ranks No. 3 in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lion defense is ranked in the Top 20 nationally in rushing (87.8 ypg, 10th), total (279.0 ypg, 16th), pass efficiency defense (104.4 rating, 11th) scoring defense (14.8 ppg, 11th) and sacks (38, T 8th) .
A starter in the last 36 games, Posluszny is the schoolís career tackle leader (364) and the first Nittany Lion to earn three 100-tackle seasons. The former Hopewell High School standout has108 hits (65 solo), with 7.0 TFL, 3.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and four pass break-ups. He has led team in tackles eight times this season, including the last three games, and has an opportunity to become the first Penn Stater to lead the team in tackles three consecutive years.
Coach Joe Paternoís Nittany Lions (8-4) will meet No. 17 Tennessee (9-3) in the Outback Bowl on New Yearís Day in Tampa, Fla. Penn State will be playing in its third January bowl game in the past five years and 33rd bowl game overall under Paterno, the all-time leader in post-season wins (21) and appearances (33).