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Penn State's Nassib, Johnson added to Bednarik Award Watch List

STAFF REPORT
YorkDispatch

Penn State defensive linemen Carl Nassib and Austin Johnson have been added to the Bednarik Award Watch List, joining fellow defensive lineman Anthony Zettel on the list.

The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995. Chuck Bednarik, former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame's Class of 1969 and the NFL Hall of Fame's Class of 1967.

The Nittany Lions' four Bednarik Award recipients are the most of any school in the nation.

Nassib leads the Football Bowl Subdivision in sacks (10.0; 1.67 per game) and forced fumbles (five) and ranks third in tackles for loss (12.0; 2.0 per game). His 10 sacks this season are the most by a Nittany Lion since Aaron Maybin had 12 sacks in 2008. Nassib has recorded at least one sack in every game. Nassib is the first Penn State player to force two fumbles in two games in a season since Maurice Evans did it in 2007. Nassib's five forced fumbles this season are the most by a Penn State player since Evans' seven forced fumbles in 2007.

Johnson has been a force up front for the Nittany Lions with 36 tackles, which is second on the team. He also has 3.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss this season. Additionally, Johnson registered his first career touchdown with a 71-yard fumble return. He is tied for seventh in the Big Ten with 1.25 tackles for loss per game.

Zettel has 23 stops on the season, including 11 solo tackles. He also had 6.0 tackles for loss, including 0.5 sacks. Zettel has also influenced the passing game with three pass breakups and three passes defended. He also has a forced fumble and a fumble recovery on the season.

Semifinalists for the Bednarik Award will be announced on Nov. 2 and three finalists for each award will be announced Nov. 24. The winners of the 2015 Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show which will be held on Dec. 10 at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

The Nittany Lions visit unbeaten and top-ranked Ohio State at 8 p.m. Saturday at 8 p.m. for an ABC national telecast.