Penn State's Still named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year

Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still will try to stifle a potent Wisconsin pass offense. (Mark Selders)

Devon Still was named the Big Ten Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year on Monday afternoon, just two days after being named the conference's top defensive lineman and a unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selection.

The defensive tackle from Wilmington, Del. has been the anchor of a stout Penn State defense that ranks eighth in the country in points allowed (15.67 per game) and 11th in yards of total offense allowed (300.92 per game). The 6-foot-5, 310-pound senior co-captain ranks second in the conference with 15 solo tackles for loss. For the season, he has 55 tackles, including four sacks, as well as a forced fumble and fumble recovery.

The award is named after late Minnesota star Bronko Nagurski, who went on to enjoy a Hall-of-Fame career with the Chicago Bears, and former Michigan standout Charles Woodson, now a perennial Pro-Bowl selection with the Green Bay Packers.

Wisconsin running back Montee Ball was named the Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year, Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller was named the Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year and Michigan's Brady Hoke was the Dave McLain Coach of the Year.

In addition to multiple Big Ten accolades, Still is also a finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, Bronco Nagurski Trophy and Outland Trophy. 

He is the second Nittany Lion in the last three years named the conference's top defender. Jared Odrick, now of the Miami Dolphins, was recognized in 2009. Former Lions LaVar Arrington (1998), Courtney Brown (1999) and Michael Haynes (2002) have also garnered the honor.

"It's a blessing," Still said. "I had a chance to play with Jared so I knew what it would take. I've worked hard. Coming back from the injuries, I've had a lot of support from my family, Coach (Larry) Johnson and my teammates."

--Jake Kaplan