Handful Of Nittany Lions Take Home All-Big Ten Honors

The Big Ten announced its defensive and special teams all-conference honorees Tuesday, with a dozen Nittany Lions receiving recognition.

The coaches and media unanimously selected Saquon Barkley as the Big Ten’s top return specialist, while Marcus Allen notched a first-team nod from the coaches. The conference will release the All-Big Ten offense on Wednesday, then individual awards on Thursday.

After leading Penn State’s defense with four interceptions, redshirt junior cornerback Amani Oruwariye earned second-team laurels. Five Nittany Lion defensive backs in total were recognized, but it was a rather mystifying decision to leave Grant Haley in the honorable mention category following a strong senior season.

Sophomore punter Blake Gillikin is a consensus second-team selection, while DeAndre Thompkins followed in Barkley’s footsteps as one of the Big Ten’s most dangerous returners.

Senior linebacker Brandon Smith is enjoying a fantastic senior season, playing particularly well down the stretch in Manny Bowen’s absence from the lineup. He’s currently third on the defense with 55 tackles. Smith represented Penn State as the team’s sportsmanship award recipient.

Averaging 41.6 points per game, Penn State’s high-powered offense should see a large contingency of Big Ten honorees on Wednesday.

About the Author

Ethan Kasales

Ethan’s a senior journalism major who grew up in Lemont, a few minutes from campus. When he’s not covering Penn State sports, you can usually find him golfing or teaching snowboarding at Tussey Mountain. Feel free to email him at [email protected]


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