Penn State quarterback Daryll Clark, defensive end Aaron Maybin and coach Joe Paterno have all been named semifinalists for major awards sponsored by the Maxwell Football Club.
Clark is one of only two Big Ten Conference players up for the Maxwell Award, which is presented annually to the outstanding collegiate football player in America. Maybin is the lone defensive end from the Big Ten to garner consideration for the Chuck Bednarik Award, an honor bestowed upon the nation’s defensive player of the year. Paterno is among the nominees for the Maxwell Football Club’s college coach of the year honor, the George Munger Award.
A nation’s-best seven Nittany Lions, including running back Larry Johnson in 2002, have been honored with the Maxwell Award. Linebacker Dan Connor won the Chuck Bednarik Award in 2007, giving Penn State three consecutive honorees after Paul Posluszny became the just the second-time two-time winner in 2005 and 2006. Linebacker LaVar Arrington also won the Chuck Bednarik Award in 1999. Coach Paterno was selected as the George Munger Award recipient in 2005.
The Maxwell Award has been presented since 1937 and is named in honor of legendary player, coach, official, and journalist Robert W. “Tiny” Maxwell. The Chuck Bednarik Award was established in 1995 and is presented in honor of linebacking great Chuck Bednarik, a member of both the College Football and NFL Halls of Fame. In its 20th year, the George Munger Award is named for former University of Pennsylvania coach George Munger.
In his first season as a starter, Clark has excelled in directing one of the nation’s most potent and productive offenses. He has accounted for a combined 19 touchdowns and 1,881 total yards through the season’s first nine games. An accurate passer with a cannon arm, the Youngstown, Ohio native has thrown for 1,652 yards and 11 touchdowns with just two interceptions. He ranks first in the Big Ten and 17th nationally in passing efficiency with a 148.5 rating. The talented Clark has also amassed 229 yards on the ground (4.2 avg.) and eight rushing touchdowns.
In Penn State’s 48-7 thumping of Wisconsin, Clark passed for a career-high 244 yards, while completing 16-of-25 for one touchdown and one interception. He also notched his first multiple rushing touchdown game of his career, scoring on runs of two and four yards. For his standout performance, Clark was honored as Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week.
Clark helms a Penn State attack that leads the Big Ten in three of the four primary offensive categories and ranks in the top 15 nationally in both total (11th, 459.8 ypg) and scoring (8th, 41.8 ppg) offense. The Nittany Lions have scored 45 or more points in six of nine victories this season.
Maybin has been a terror to quarterbacks off the edge this season, recording sacks in eight of nine games. A ferocious pass rusher with excellent speed and quickness, he leads the Big Ten and ranks third in the nation with 11 sacks and is fourth nationally with 15.5 tackles for loss. A Mid-season All-American, Maybin has also forced three fumbles, including two that resulted in touchdowns.
Versus Wisconsin, Maybin burst onto the national scene with a dominant performance, recording six tackles (five solo), a career-high 3.5 tackles for loss, one sack for minus-12 yards, two forced fumbles and a pass break-up. He made one of the key plays in the game, as he stripped quarterback Allan Evridge, with linebacker Josh Hull recovering the fumble at the UW 16 with 1:32 left in the first half. Two plays later Clark scored from two yards out to push the Penn State lead to 24-7. Maybin earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week accolades for his impressive showing.
Penn State leads the Big Ten in all four primary defensive categories and is ranked fourth in the nation in scoring (11.1 ppg) and sixth in total defense. (265.9 ypg)
In his 43rd season as Penn State head coach and 59th as a member of the coaching staff, Paterno has led the Nittany Lions to a 9-0 overall record, 5-0 in the Big Ten, and the No. 3 ranking in the AP poll and BCS standings this year. The all-time leader in victories among major college coaches, Paterno has a compiled a 381-125-3 career record Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2007, he has directed Penn State to five unbeaten seasons (1968, 1969, 1973, 1986, 1994) and two National Championships (1982, 1986).
Paterno has been selected National Coach of the Year an unprecedented five times during his illustrious career. Penn State is 9-0 for the 10th time under Paterno.
The announcement of the winners of the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be made during the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show that will be broadcast on ESPN on Thurs., Dec. 11. The Maxwell Football Club will announce the winner of the 20th George Munger Award via a press release in December. The formal presentation of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club’s Awards Dinner, to be held on Fri., March 6 at the Harrah’s Entertainment Complex in Atlantic City, N.J.
Voting for all three of the collegiate awards presented by the Maxwell Football Club will begin on Wed., Nov. 5 and close on Sun., Nov. 23rd. Eligible voters included Maxwell Football Club members, NCAA head football coaches, sports information directors, and selected national media.
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