Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still was named Thursday as one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, named for the former University of Minnesota and Chicago Bears great and given to the nation's top defender by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club.
Still, a senior co-captain from Wilmington, has been the anchor of a stellar Nittany Lions' defense all season. The 6-foot-5, 310-pound lineman ranks second in the Big Ten with 16.5 tackles for loss. He also has 53 tackles, including four sacks, and a forced fumble and fumble recovery.
"Devon's played great football," interim head coach Tom Bradley said in a press release. "The thing that's probably overlooked is the responsibility that he's taken on this football team with his leadership. I've leaned on him. He's done an excellent job just being a good, solid teammate to everybody. He's spent an awful lot of time in that locker room, hanging around the guys trying to express what he thinks, as a team, we need to do to get to the next level."
The other finalists are Alabama safety Mark Barron, Louisiana State cornerback Morris Claiborne, Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly, and Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus. The winner of the trophy will be announced at a banquet on Dec. 12 in Charlotte, N.C.
Penn State (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten) plays Ohio State (6-4, 3-3) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Columbus.
— Jake Kaplan