STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Devon Still, the driving force of Penn State's stalwart defense, continues to rack up end-of-the-year honors on a seemingly daily basis.
On Wednesday, the fifth-year senior defensive tackle from Wilmington, was named a first-team all-American by the Associated Press, increasing his total of all-American honors from various outlets to nine.
Still was Penn State's lone representative on the AP's three all-American teams, which were voted on by a panel of 16 media members across the country.
The Walter Camp Football Foundation, Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), ESPN.com, and SI.com, among others, also have named Still an all-American over the last couple weeks. Still, the 2011 Big Ten defensive player of the year and defensive lineman of the year, is Penn State's 96th all-American.
After battling injuries early in his Penn State career, Still emerged as one of the top defensive players in the country this season. He will close his collegiate career on Jan 2. when the Nittany Lions play Houston and the its high-powered offense in the TicketCity Bowl in Dallas.
"It's an honor to be named an all-American," Still said over the weekend after he was honored by the FWAA. Penn State also named him the team's MVP on Sunday. "As a little kid you dream of being one of the best players in college football. Words can't describe what it will be like to walk down the hall in the Lasch Building and see my picture on the all-America wall."
A Penn State cocaptain, Still has anchored a Penn State defense that ranks fifth in the nation in points allowed (15.67 per game) and 10th in yards allowed (300.92). The 6-foot-5, 310-pound lineman was second in the Big Ten with 15 solo tackles for loss despite facing double teams for much of the second half of the season. He added 41/2 sacks, 55 tackles, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.
Though he was also a finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award and the Bronco Nagurski Trophy, both given to the nation's top defender, and the Outland Trophy, awarded to the top interior lineman, he failed to take home any hardware.
But Still's big payoff figures to come in the spring, as many project him to be a first-round pick in April's NFL draft.
LSU makes history. As for the rest of the AP all-American team, Louisiana State's Tyrann Mathieu and Morris Claiborne were selected for the squad, making the top-ranked Tigers the first school with two cornerbacks on the first team.
Mathieu, a Heisman Trophy finalist, and Claiborne were joined on the all-American team by Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III of Baylor and finalists Montee Ball of Wisconsin and Trent Richardson of Alabama. Heisman runner-up Andrew Luck from Stanford was the second-team quarterback.
The second-ranked Crimson Tide had the most first-teamers with four. Richardson was joined by tackle Barrett Jones, linebacker Dont'a Hightower and safety Mark Barron. Tide linebackers Courtney Upshaw and corner Dre Kirkpatrick also made the second team, giving Alabama the most players selected overall.
The LSU corners were joined on the first team by Tigers punter Brad Wing. LSU guard Will Blackwell was a second-team selection, and defensive end Sam Montgomery made the third team.
The top-ranked Tigers will play SEC West rival Alabama on Jan. 9 in New Orleans for the BCS title.
No. 3 Oklahoma State also had five selections on the three teams, including wide receiver Justin Blackmon, who is one of two players to be selected to the first team for the second straight season. Blackmon caught 113 passes for 1,336 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly, the nation's leading tackler at 15.9 per game, is the other two-time all-American on this year's team.