PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Nittany Lion Football Banquet Honors Players For Accomplishments On And Off The Field

Penn State officially put the bow on its regular season with the annual Nittany Lion Football Banquet, which was held Sunday night at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel’s main ballroom. The ceremony allowed the team to reflect on the past season, sharing stories and honoring deserving individuals for their accomplishments throughout the 2015 campaign.

Included among the headlining award recipients were names like Carl Nassib and Christian Hackenberg, who were selected as Defensive and Offensive Players of the Year, respectively. Nassib also received the team’s Most Valuable Player award after leading the nation in both sacks and forced fumbles, while receiving a litany of national accolades in the process.

In addition to individual honors, James Franklin addressed the 2015 senior class to the crowd of more than 700, expressing his gratitude for all they’ve done for the program.

“I can’t express how I feel about these seniors and the impact you’ve had here in the classroom, in the community, and on the football field,” Franklin said. “I can’t express how proud I am of you and how you’ve handled everything with class, honor, and integrity. You guys are going to be remembered 20, 30 years from now about how you stood strong when this program and university needed you the most. The adversity you have faced and overcome has shaped who you are.”

As the night carried on, numerous players — from starters to run-ons — received different awards for their service to the program and community, while some received recognition for their academic endeavors. Players like tight end Dom Salomone and wide receiver Gordon Bentley were honored for their exemplary academic performance, while reserve linebacker and State College native Matthew Baney received a $5,000 scholarship to assist with the cost of graduate school. Scout team standouts like quarterback Tommy Stevens, tight end Nick Bowers, defensive tackle Ryan Monk, and linebacker Brandon Smith took home respective Offensive and Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year awards.

Here is the complete list of award winners:

  • Lions’ Pride Outstanding Senior Player Award (greatest career contribution to Penn State Football) — Anthony Zettel
  • Most Valuable Player — Carl Nassib
  • Most Valuable Offensive Player — Christian Hackenberg
  • Most Valuable Defensive Player — Carl Nassib
  • Captains’ Award –Christian Hackenberg; Jordan Lucas; Angelo Mangiro; Von Walker, and Anthony Zettel
  • Ridge Riley Award (senior for “sportsmanship, scholarship, leadership and friendship”) — Trevor Williams
  • Richard Maginnis Memorial Award (outstanding offensive lineman) — Angelo Mangiro
  • Robert B. Mitinger, Jr. Award (senior who exhibits courage, character and social responsibility) — Angelo Mangiro
  • Reid-Robinson Award (outstanding defensive lineman). Named in honor of two of Penn State’s most acclaimed defensive linemen, Dave Robinson and Mike Reid — Austin Johnson
  • John Bruno, Jr. Memorial Award (outstanding member of special teams) — Nick Scott
  • Iron Lion Award (strength and conditioning). Awarded to the player who demonstrates the cornerstone of the Penn State Football strength and conditioning program — intensity and consistency — Dom Salomone
  • Outstanding Run-on Award (Run-on player who exemplifies total commitment, loyalty, hard work and courage) — Jordan Dudas and tackle Albert Hall.
  • Quarterback Club Special Awards — Tarow Barney and Kyle Carter
  • Football Letterman’s Club Joe and Sue Paterno Post-Graduate Scholarship ($5,000 Scholarship to a senior to provide recognition and financial assistance for graduate school) — Matt Baney
  • The Nittany Lion Club Academic Achievement Award (senior with highest GPA) – Dom Salomone
  • Highest Academic Average — Gordon Bentley
  • Public Service Award — Ben Kline and Matt Zanellato
  • Scout team Special Teams Player of the Year — Josh McPhearson
  • Scout team Defensive Player of the Year — Ryan Monk and Brandon Smith
  • Scout team Offensive Player of the Year — Nick Bowers and Tommy Stevens

About the Author

David Abruzzese

David is a senior from Rochester, NY, nestled right in beautiful Western New York. He is majoring in Broadcast Journalism, and as an avid sports fan, he passionately supports the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. He is the first Penn Stater from his family, and couldn’t be prouder to represent Penn State University. In his free time, he likes to alpine ski, and play golf. You can follow him on Twitter @abruz11, and can contact him via email at [email protected]


More by David

So Long, And Goodnight: David Abruzzese’s Senior Column

It’s been a hell of a ride, folks. Senior staffer David Abruzzese rides off into the sunset with his senior column.

Saquon Barkley Mum On NFL Future; Relishes Fiesta Bowl Opportunity

DOTD: Nittany Lion Catches Pass At Fiesta Bowl


Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

The incident surrounding Marche’s death is “under investigation,” according to the Philadelphia police department.

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Penn State Hockey’s Evan Barratt, Aarne Talvitie Participate In World Junior Summer Showcase

Ally McHugh Wins 400 Medley National Championship

Student Life

Girirajan Lab Seeks To Bridge The Gap Between Fly And Human Genomes

The lab uses a combination of human genomics, computational biology, and functional studies, using Drosophila and human cell lines, to understand the risks caused by genetic mutations and to grasp how gene disruption leads to altered neurodevelopment.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Pennharmonics To Hold 25th Anniversary Reunion Concert

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

The incident surrounding Marche’s death is “under investigation,” according to the Philadelphia police department.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Madden NFL 19 Ratings For Nittany Lions

For the second consecutive year, Sean Lee is the highest-rated Nittany Lion in the Madden video game.

Send this to a friend