Penn State players captured two major individual awards Monday night from the Big Ten Conference.
Michael Mauti, the Nittany Lions' senior inspirational leader, won the Butkus Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year Award.
Allen Robinson, who enjoyed a breakout sophomore campaign, took the Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year Award.
Mauti's season ended prematurely in the 11th game of the season against Indiana when he suffered a serious knee injury. His teammates then honored him on Senior Day by wearing his number on their helmets.
A semifinalist for the Butkus Award, Mauti ranks in the top 10 in the Big Ten in tackles (seventh with 96), interceptions (fourth with three) and forced fumbles (third with three). He
Robinson, meanwhile, led the Big Ten in receptions (77), receiving yards (1,013) and touchdown receptions (11), breaking the school season receptions record. Robinson made nine catches of 30 yards or longer this season and a total of 16 for 20 yards or more. In 2011 as a freshman, Robinson had just three catches for 29 yards.
Mauti and Robinson were each named to the All-Big Ten First Team by both the coaches and media. The only other Nittany Lion to earn that distinction was senior defensive tackle Jordan Hill. Hill was fourth on the team with 64 tackles, second with 41/2 sacks and tied for third with 81/2 tackles for loss. The former Steelton-Highspire High School standout also had one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Hill also was selected Penn State's Sportsmanship recipient.
In addition, PSU senior center Matt Stankiewitch and junior guard John Urschel were selected to the coaches' first team and media second team, and redshirt freshman tight end Kyle Carter was named to the media first team. Senior linebacker Gerald Hodges earned second team All-Big Ten honors from the coaches and media, earning all-conference accolades for the second consecutive year.
A redshirt freshman, Carter was second on the team with 36 receptions for 453 yards (12.6) and two touchdowns. He missed the final two games of the season with a wrist injury. Stankiewitch started at center all 25 games the past two seasons and made 27 career starts, second-highest on the squad. Urschel started every game at right guard this season. Hodges led Penn State in tackles for the second consecutive year, making 109 stops, to become just the sixth Nittany Lion with multiple 100-tackle seasons.
Seven Nittany Lions earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten recognition: sophomore cornerback Adrian Amos, freshman defensive end Deion Barnes, senior tackle Mike Farrell, senior quarterback Matt McGloin, senior cornerback Stephon Morris, senior defensive end Sean Stanley and sophomore running back Zach Zwinak.
Additional Big Ten awards, including Coach of the Year, will be announced at 7 p.m. Tuesday on the Big Ten Network. PSU head coach Bill O'Brien is expected to be a major contender for the Coach of the Year Award after guiding the Lions to an 8-4 season, including a 6-2 mark in the Big Ten.
Go here for the complete list of Big Ten honorees.
HILL, FICKEN GET WEEKLY HONORS FROM BIG TEN: Two Penn State football players have earned weekly honors from the Big Ten Conference.
Senior tackle Jordan Hill was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, while sophomore kicker Sam Ficken was picked the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week.
Hill recorded a career-high 12 tackles in Penn State's 24-21 overtime victory against Wisconsin on Saturday. He was credited with three tackles for loss, including two sacks, helping Penn State force eight straight punts and one turnover after the Badgers took a 14-7 first-quarter lead. He had eight tackles, including two tackles for loss and a sack, in the fourth quarter and overtime alone. It was Hill's second Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week award and second this season. He was also honored Oct. 22 after PSU's 38-14 win vs. Iowa.
Ficken kicked the game-winning 37-yard field goal in overtime vs. the Badgers. He was a perfect 3-for-3 on field-goal tries, also converting from 23 and 32 yards. He ended the season having made 10 straight field-goal attempts. It was the first time he's been honored by the Big Ten.
LIONS ARE NATIONAL TEAM OF WEEK: Penn State has been named the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl's National Team of the Week, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), following the Nittany Lions' Senior Day 24-21 overtime win over Wisconsin.
The Lions won for the eighth time in their last 10 games.
The Nittany Lions are the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl's National Team of the Week for the third time. The previous times were after victories against Ohio State in 2005 and 2008. Penn State is the first Big Ten team to earn the weekly honor this season.