Shipley Named Nation’s Best Center

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A.Q. Shipley has to be on cloud nine right now. Or cloud #57.

The Nittany Lions football center and offensive co-captain will be named the winner of the Rimington Trophy, the award for best center, tonight during the ESPN/Home Depot College Football Awards Show. He’s the first ever Penn State football player to win the award since it’s 2000 inception.

And the irony of it all is that Shipley didn’t even intend on playing center:

Shipley bounced around from defensive tackle to guard and center before becoming a three-year starter at center, a move that Joe Paterno said earlier this year was out of “desperation.”

Shipley has said he wasn’t thrilled with the switch, but [Shipley’s high school football coach Mark] Capuano said he came to embrace his new position.

“He doesn’t want to just block people,” Capuano said. “He wants to put them on their back and get to the next level.”

Here’s what I take away from this: Shipley put the team first and was rewarded. It’s great to see that not only is Penn State sticking to it’s team-over-the-individual philosophy, but that it’s paying dividends for those who buy into it.

As reported earlier here at Onward State, both Shipley and DE Aaron Maybin have been recognized on a national level – the Bednarik and Hendricks awards, the two awards for which Maybin is a finalist, have yet to be announced.

[Source: The Daily Collegian]

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Mark McColey is a Senior majoring in Advertising and Labor-Employment relations. Among his loves are Penn State Football, The Steelers, The Penguins, The Simpsons, Tina Fey, and Arrested Development.

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