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Mauti, Robinson lead way as six PSU players earn first-team all-conference honors

November 27, 2012
By Cory Giger ( , The Altoona Mirror

It's never been about individual achievement for Michael Mauti, the ultimate team guy, but Penn State's standout senior linebacker was singled out Monday for his great season on and off the field.

Mauti was named the Big Ten's Linebacker of the Year, highlighting a big night for the Nittany Lions at the conference's awards presentation on Big Ten Network.

Sophomore Allen Robinson also earned a major honor as the Big Ten's Receiver of the Year, and Penn State had six players earn first-team all-conference recognition.

The Big Ten has two all-conference squads, voted on separately by the coaches and the media. Mauti and Robinson were named first team by both, and these players also made the first team:

* Senior defensive tackle Jordan Hill (coaches and media)

* Senior center Matt Stankiewitch (coaches)

* Junior guard John Urschel (coaches)

* Redshirt freshman tight end Kyle Carter (media)

Linebacker Gerald Hodges was named to the second team by the coaches and media. Honorable mention recognition went to quarterback Matt McGloin, cornerback Adrian Amos, defensive end Deion Barnes, cornerback Stephon Morris, offensive tackle Mike Farrell, defensive end Sean Stanley and running back Zach Zwinak.

Hill and Carter were contenders for the top defensive lineman and tight end awards, respectively, but did not win.

The coaches and media couldn't agree on the league's top quarterback. The media went with Ohio State's Braxton Miller, while the coaches chose Nebraska's Taylor Martinez. Miller was named the league's Quarterback of the Year.

Big Ten Coach of the Year will be announced tonight, and it's expected to come down to Penn State's Bill O'Brien and Ohio State's Urban Meyer. O'Brien has earned national respect for how he's handled everything during a tumultuous year at PSU, and Meyer led the Buckeyes to an undefeated season and No. 4 national ranking.

Big Ten awards
QuarterbackBraxton Miller, Ohio State
ReceiverAllen Robinson, Penn State
Running backMontee Ball, Wisconsin
Tight endJacob Pedersen, Wisconsin
Offensive linemanTaylor Lewan, Michigan
Defensive linemanJohn Simon, Ohio State
LinebackerMichael Mauti, Penn State
Defensive backMicah Hyde, Iowa
PunterWill Hagerup, Michigan
KickerBrett Maher, Nebraska
Jeff Budzien, Northwestern

Mauti, the Lions' inspirational leader during the fallout of the Sandusky scandal and NCAA sanctions, suffered a season-ending knee injury in week 11 and was honored by his teammates as they wore his No. 42 on their helmets in Saturday's finale against Wisconsin.

Mauti finished with 95 tackles, 2 1/2 sacks, three interceptions and four tackles for loss. He also forced three fumbles and recovered one. The Big Ten's linebacker award is named after Illinois legend Dick Butkus and Pat Fitzgerald, who starred at Northwestern and now coaches there.

"This year has been the most fun I've ever had playing," Mauti said in a university statement. "This linebacker corps is very special. Gerald had a great year, and Glenn [Carson] is really making his mark.

"Coach [Ron] Vanderlinden was a big reason why I came to Penn State, and I have learned from the best. Coach Fitzgerald is someone I looked to up to when he was playing, and I have a lot of respect for him as a player and a coach."

While Mauti was expected to have a big season, no one could have imagined Robinson putting up the huge numbers he did.

Robinson had only three catches last year, but this season he set the Penn State record with 77 receptions. He also had 1,013 yards, becoming just the second PSU receiver to top 1,000 (Bobby Engram did so in 1994 and '95).

Robinson's award is named after Michigan's Desmond Howard and Wisconsin's Pat Richter.

"It means a lot after all the hard work I put in during the offseason," said Robinson, who led the league in catches and receiving yards per game (85).

SUBHD: Awards Monday

Hill was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week for his dominant performance in the 24-21 overtime win against Wisconsin. He had a career-high 12 tackles (eight solo), three tackles for loss and two sacks.

Place-kicker Sam Ficken finished a whirlwind season by earning the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week. Ficken made two field goals, including a game-winning 37-yarder in overtime, and finished the season by making his final 10 attempts.

Penn State also was named the national Team of the Week, selected by the Football Writers Association of America.

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