After a season (and career) for the ages, wrestler David Taylor was named the Big Ten Jesse Owens Athlete of the Year this evening.
Taylor, now the second Nittany Lion to earn the honor since its inception in 1982, capped a 34-0 2013-14 campaign with an individual national championship and Hodge Trophy. But he was used to that — he won the Hodge Trophy and national championship in the 2012-13 season, too, and is the three-time Big Ten wrestler of the year. He’s been part of the last four wrestling teams, all of which won the national title. He was named to a pair of All-American teams and also notched Big Ten All-Academic honors this past season.
He finished his career with a 134-3 overall record, being the only NCAA wrestler in 2013-14 to finish his season undefeated.
Volleyball outside hitter Deja McClendon was Penn State’s nominee for the women’s athlete of the year, but that honor went to Purdue’s Dani Bunch of the track and field team.