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Dallastown grad Kline up for Wuerffel Trophy for community service

STAFF REPORT
YorkDispatch

Dallastown High School graduate Ben Kline was nominated for the Wuerffel Trophy on Wednesday.

The Wuerffel Trophy is known as "college football's premier award for community service," and is presented annually by the All Sports Association. The award is named after 1996 Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel, from the University of Florida, and is given to the Football Bowl Subdivision player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.

Kline, a Penn State linebacker, is in the final year of eligibility to play football for the Nittany Lions in a career that has been plagued by injuries.

Despite his lack of playing time throughout his career, Kline has made a huge impact off the field.

He's served as the president of Penn State's Uplifting Athletes chapter for the past two years. In 2014, the program raised a record $140,000 for Kidney Cancer Awareness and Research at the team's Lift for Life event. He also had a chance to visit Washington in 2014 with a few other Nittany Lion football players for Rare Disease Awareness Day.

He's also involved with THON and the Special Olympics and is a co-founder for a student organization that benefits an orphanage in Kenya.

Along with the Wuerffel Award, Kline has also been nominated for the American Rhodes Scholarship, the oldest and most celebrated international fellowship award in the world. He's a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and graduated in just 3 1/2 years with a degree in finance with a 3.76 cumulative grade-point average. He's now pursuing a master's degree in international affairs.

Other Nittany Lion honored: PSU senior defensive end Carl Nassib was also recognized on Wednesday.

He was added to the Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list, joining fellow senior defensive lineman Anthony Zettel on the list.

The Lott IMPACT Trophy is given annually to the collegiate defensive player who best exemplifies the characteristics exhibited by Ronnie Lott — integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community and tenacity.

Nassib currently leads the country in sacks (11.5), tackles for loss (15.5) and forced fumbles (5). He's recorded a sack in every game this season and has the most sacks in a season for a Penn State player since Aaron Maybin had 12 in 2008.