Penn State's Zettel honored by Big Ten for his effort just day after his father died


Penn State redshirt senior defensive tackle Anthony Zettel earned his first career Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week award after his performance against San Diego State.

Zettel is the conference's Co-Defensive Player of the Week with Michigan State's Shilique Calhoun.

Zettel's performance came just one day after his father died of cancer.

Zettel is the first Penn State defensive player to earn weekly honor since Trevor Williams won the award last year after the Rutgers game. This is the third Big Ten weekly honor for a Penn State player this season as running back Saquon Barkley is a two-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week.

The West Branch, Michigan native turned in a solid all-around performance with a team- and career-high seven tackles. The seven stops surpass his previous personal best of six tackles that he had on three occasions with the most recent occurrence coming against Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl. Zettel also collected his second career fumble recovery and deflected a pass against the Aztecs.

With his 2.5 tackles for loss against SDSU, Zettel moved into a tie with Todd Atkins for 15th place on Penn State's career TFLs list with 32. He needs one TFL to move into a tie for 14th place. Additionally with his half-sack, Zettel moved into 15th place on Penn State's career sacks chart with 16.5 in his career, breaking a tie with Shane Conlan. He needs another half-sack to move into a tie for 13th place with Justin Kurpeikis and Maurice Evans.