Sunday night marked the beginning of the end for the 23 members of the Penn State football senior class as more than 1,000 people gathered for the State College Quarterback Club’s annual banquet.
All-American and Co-Captain Devon Still took home the biggest award of the evening after being named the Most Valuable Player of the 2011 team.
Still added MVP honors to a growing list of awards that he has received in the past few weeks. They include four first-team All-America nods (Walter Camp Football Foundation, Football Writers Association of America, CBSsports.com and AT&T/ESPN) as well as the 2011 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and Defensive Lineman of the Year honors. Still gives Penn State 10 first-team All-Americans in the past seven years.
In addition to Still’s recognition as team MVP, the 2011 State College Quarterback Club award winners were as follows.
- John Bruno, Jr. Memorial Award (outstanding member of special teams) – senior cornerback/kick returner Chaz Powell (New Freedom);
- Ridge Riley Award (senior for “sportsmanship, scholarship, leadership and friendship”) – senior safety Drew Astorino (Edinboro);
- Richard Maginnis Memorial Award (outstanding offensive lineman) – senior tackle Quinn Barham (Durham, N.C.) and senior guard Johnnie Troutman (Browns Mills, N.J.);
- Robert B. Mitinger, Jr., Award (senior who exhibits courage, character and social responsibility) – Senior tight end Andrew Szczerba (Wilmington, Del.);
- Outstanding Walk-on Award (walk-on player who exemplifies total commitment, loyalty, hard work and courage) – senior long snapper Jon Rohrbaugh (Ellicott City, Md.);
- Quarterback Club Special Awards – senior defensive end Jack Crawford (Longport, N.J.),senior wide receiver Derek Moye (Rochester), senior linebacker Nate Stupar (State College) and senior safety Nick Sukay (Mount Pleasant);
- The Nittany Lion Club Academic Achievement Award (senior with highest GPA) was presented to swide receiver Ryan Scherer (Avon Lake, Ohio).
In addition, former Penn State All-American Linebacker Shane Conlan was given Alumni Athlete Award. Conlan’s 63 solo tackles were a pivotal part of Penn State’s 12-0 1986 National Championship team. He remains to this day one of the great defensive players to have played at Penn State.
Penn State will be home for Christmas break before traveling to Dallas to take on 19 Houston (12-1) in the TicketCity Bowl. Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin was recently hired to coach Texas A&M and will not be coaching at the bowl game.