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Penn State senior defensive end Carl Nassib is a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award for the College Defensive Player of the Year. He is one of 20 candidates for the award.

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 Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 1967.

The Nittany Lions' four Bednarik Award recipients are the most of any school in the nation. Dan Connor is the most recent winner in 2007, while Paul Posluszny won the award in back-to-back years in 2005 and 2006. LaVar Arrington also won the top defensive player honor in 1999.

Nassib has sprung onto the national scene this year and leads Football Bowl Subdivision in sacks (15.5) and tackles for loss (18.5) and is third in forced fumbles (5). He has recorded a sack in each game this season and five multi-sack games. Nassib's 14.5 sacks this season are the most by a Nittany Lion since Michael Haynes tied Larry Kubin's school record of 15 sacks in 2002. Kubin recorded 15 sacks in 1979.

He was also a midseason All-America choice by SI.com, ESPN.com, USAToday.com and CBS Sports.

Three finalists for the Bednarik Award will be announced Nov. 24. The winner 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 travel to Evanston to face Northwestern Saturday at noon. The game will air on ESPNU.