You’d be hard pressed to find an All-American college football season as obscure and overlooked as Devon Still in 2011. Sure, the pedophilia scandal at Penn State is much bigger and more important than football.
And the media is treating it as such they should. Also, leading to Still’s relative obscurity is the fact that offense sells tickets, and gets the glory. Defense is overlooked. And as well know, the PSU offense is awfully bad, with the quarterbacking and passing game phantasmagoric.
However, Still, a 6-5, 310-pound senior is getting it done for a Penn State defense that ranks third nationally in points against (13.0 per game), trailing only Alabama and LSU.
The Nittany Lions’ defense is eighth nationally in yards allowed per game (287.3). Still has been Penn State’s defensive leader and is tied for 11th in the country in tackles for loss (16.5 for 75 yards), of which four of those are sacks for 34 yards in losses.
He has 53 total tackles (25 assisted) for a 9-2 team that is playing for a berth in the Big Ten Championship Game this Saturday at Wisconsin. He’s is a two-year starter who has overcome injuries that hampered him early in his college career. Still is also being projected at a first round pick in a few NFL mock drafts out there.
Still was named to some mid-season All-America teams and as a finalist for the Outland Tophy. The Outland Trophy is named after the late John Outland, an All-America lineman at Pennsylvania at the turn of the century. The Outland Trophy is the third-oldest award behind the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award.
Stanford offensive guard David DeCastro, Alabama offensive tackle Barrett Jones are the other two finalists.
There are also three representatives from the nation’s top three total defenses among the three Bednarik finalists. Still is obviously the first, along with Dont’a Hightower, Alabama, LB, Junior
Tyrann “Honey Badger” (have no clue how he got a nickname like that) Mathieu, LSU, CB, Sophomore
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the FWAA, USBWA and SPJ. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.