Parsons Named Big 10 Linebacker of the Year; Penn State Well Represented on All-Conference Team

| December 4, 2019


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Sophomore Micah Parsons claimed the Big Ten Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year.

(Photo by Paul Burdick. Check out more of Burdick’s work here)

Parsons was joined on the All-Big Ten first team by junior defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos. Parsons is the third Nittany Lion to earn Linebacker of the Year laurels, joining Mike Hull (2014) and Michael Mauti (2012).

Joining Parsons and Gross-Matos on the All-Big Ten defensive team are junior defensive end Shaka Toney (second team – coaches, honorable mention – media), senior defensive tackle Robert Windsor (third team – coaches, honorable mention – media), senior linebacker Cam Brown (third team – coaches, honorable mention – media), junior cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields (honorable mention – coaches, third team – media), senior linebacker Jan Johnson (honorable mention – coaches & media), senior safety Garrett Taylor (honorable mention – coaches & media), senior cornerback John Reid (honorable mention – coaches & media) and junior safety Lamont Wade (honorable mention – coaches & media).

On special teams, Blake Gillikin (honorable mention – coaches & media), KJ Hamler (honorable mention – coaches & media) and Jake Pinegar (honorable mention – coaches & media) all earned All-Big Ten honors. Hamler was selected as a kick returner.

Gillikin is Penn State’s sportsmanship selection.

Micah Parsons, LB, So./So., 6-3, 245, Harrisburg, Pa./Harrisburg

-Big Ten Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year.
-Is the third Nittany Lion to earn Big Ten Linebacker of the Year, joining Michael Mauti (2012) and Mike Hull (2014).
-Is the first sophomore to win Big Ten Linebacker of the Year.
-First-team all-conference selection by the coaches and media.
-Earns second All-Big Ten honor of his career with an appearance on the coaches’ and media’s honorable mention team in 2018.
-Is the first Nittany Lion linebacker to earn All-Big Ten first team accolades since Mike Hull in 2014.
-Ranks No. 70 in FBS and No. 8 in the Big Ten in tackles per game (7.9).
-Leads the team with 95 tackles.
-Ranks second on the team with 11.0 tackles for loss.
-Is the seventh Nittany Lion to have 95 tackles and 10 tackles for loss in a season.
-Named a finalist for the Butkus Award.
-Selected as a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award.
-Named to the Pro Football Focus All-America first team.
-Named to the Rivals Midseason All-Big Ten team.
-Has six games with 10 or more tackles.
-Selected to the Pro Football Focus National Team of the Week second team and Big Ten Team of the Week first team following the Indiana game (11/16).
-Named to the Pro Football Focus National Team of the Week second team and Big Ten Team of the Week first team following the Minnesota game (11/9).
-Selected to the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week first team following the Purdue game (10/5).
-Named to the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week second team following his performance vs. Pitt (9/14).
-Had a career-high-tying 14 tackles in the Penn State White Out win over Michigan (10/19).
-Ranks No. 14 among all defenders by Pro Football Focus in total defense.
-Ranks No. 1 among all defenders by Pro Football Focus in rushing defense.

Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Jr./Jr., 6-5, 264, Spotsylvania, Va./Chancellor

-All-Big Ten first team selection by the coaches and media.
-Earns his second All-Big Ten first team honor after a selection by the media last season.
-Leads the team and ranks No. 23 in FBS and No.5 in the Big Ten in sacks with 0.77 per game (8.5 total).
-Leads the team and is No. 27 in FBS and No. 7 in the Big Ten in tackles for loss with 1.3 per game (14.0 total).
-Has seven quarterback hurries.
-Named to the Hendricks Award (Top Defensive End) Watch List.
-Named as a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award.
-Tabbed as a quarterfinalist for the Lott Impact Trophy.
-Selected a Sporting News Midseason All-American.
-Named second-team Midseason AP All-American.
-Selected to the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week second team following the Michigan State game (10/26).
-Selected to the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week second team following the Iowa game (10/12).
-Named to the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week second team following his performance vs. Buffalo (9/7).
-Collected a season-high nine tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks, at Ohio State (11/23).
-Ranks No. 18 among edge defenders by Pro Football Focus in overall defense.

Shaka Toney, DE, Sr./Jr., 6-3, 243, Philadelphia, Pa./Imhotep Charter

-Second-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and honorable mention choice by the media.
-Ranked No. 15 in the Big Ten in sacks with 0.54 per game (6.5 total).
-Tied for seventh on the team with 39 tackles, including 8.0 tackles for loss.
-Has five quarterback hurries, one fumble recovery and one blocked kick.
-Named to the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week first team following the Purdue game (10/5).
-Had a career-high seven tackles against Michigan (10/19).
-Registered four tackles, including three sacks, against Purdue (10/5).
-Collected five tackles, including a solo sack, and a QB hurry against Pitt (9/14).
-Collected four tackles and blocked a field goal in the first quarter, Penn State’s first blocked field goal since Nick Scott against Michigan in 2018, at Michigan State (10/26).

Robert Windsor, DT, Gr./Sr., 6-4, 285, Fond du Lac, Wis./Fond du Lac

-Third-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and honorable mention choice by the media.
-Earns second career all-conference nod after an appearance on the media’s third team and coaches’ honorable mention squad last season.
-Recorded 38 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.
-Has six quarterback hurries.
-Selected for the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week first team following the Michigan State game (10/26).
-Named to the Pro Football Focus National and Big Ten Team of the Week first team following the Iowa game (10/12).
-Tabbed to the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week second team following the Purdue game (10/5).
-Selected for the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week first team after his performance vs. Buffalo (9/7).
-Matched a career high with six tackles and equaled a personal mark with 2.5 tackles for loss (1.5 sacks) at Iowa 10/12). Also recorded two quarterback hurries.
-One of five players to have earned their degree entering the 2019 season.

Cam Brown, LB, Sr./Sr., 6-5, 233, Burtonsville, Md./The Bullis School

-All-Big Ten third-team selection by the coaches and honorable mention choice by the media.
-Ranks third on the team with a career-high 69 tackles.
-Has three pass breakups, four quarterback hurries, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.
-Registered 5.5 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks.
-Named to the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week second team following the Michigan State game (10/26).
-Matched a career high with 10 tackles and forced and recovered a fumble in the first quarter against Buffalo (9/7).
-Collected seven tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss and a solo sack, against Pittsburgh (9/14).
-Matched a career best with 10 tackles to go along with two QB hurries against Michigan (10/19).
-Tallied six tackles, including one for loss, and had a pass breakup and QB hurry at Michigan State (10/26).
-Collected six tackles, including one tackle for loss, at Minnesota (11/9).
-Secured six tackles, including five solo, against Indiana (11/16).
-Recorded six tackles and recovered a fumble in the first quarter at Ohio State (11/23).
-Recorded seven tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss, against Rutgers (11/30).

Tariq Castro-Fields, CB, Jr./Jr., 6-0, 197, Upper Marlboro, Md./Riverdale

-All-Big Ten third-team selection by the media and honorable mention choice by the coaches.
-Selected to the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week first team following the Iowa game (10/12).
-Named to the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week second team after the Maryland game (9/27).
-Ranks sixth on the team with 48 tackles.
-Has team bests of two interceptions and eight pass breakups.
-Recorded a career-best eight tackles, including one for loss, and two pass breakups against Buffalo (9/7).
-Picked off a pass in the first quarter to stop a Maryland drive in the end zone and had two pass breakups at Maryland (9/27).
-Recorded six tackles and broke up a pass at Iowa (10/12).
-Made a career-high-tying eight tackles and intercepted a pass in the second quarter against Michigan (10/19).
-Matched a career high with eight tackles., including six solo, against Indiana (11/16).

Jan Johnson, LB, Gr./Sr., 6-2, 231, Mohnton, Pa./Governor Mifflin

-Honorable-mention all-conference by coaches and media.
-Ranked fifth on the team with 60 tackles.
-Has 4.5 tackles for loss, two pass breakups, one forced fumble and three quarterback hurries.
-Is third in the Big Ten with two fumble recoveries.
-Selected as a Pro Football Focus honorable-mention All-American.
-Named a semifinalist for the Burlsworth Trophy.
-Selected as a Pro Football Focus Midseason All-American honorable mention.
-Tabbed Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week second team following the Michigan State game (10/26).
-Named to the Pro Football Focus National and Big Ten Team of the Week first team following his performance vs. Pitt (9/14).
-Set a career high with 14 tackles, including nine in the first half, against Buffalo (9/7).
-Registered 11 tackles, including six solo, and made a career-high three tackles for loss at Minnesota (11/9).
-One of five players to have earned their degree entering the 2019 season.

John Reid, CB, 5th/Sr., 5-10, 181, Mount Laurel, N.J./St. Joseph’s Prep (Pa.)

-All-Big Ten honorable mention selection by coaches and media.
-Collects his third all-conference honor after being named honorable mention by the coaches and media in 2016 and 2018.
-Has 34 tackles to go along with two interceptions.
-Is second on the team with seven pass breakups.
-Selected to the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week first team following the Michigan game (10/19).
-Named to the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week first team after his performance against Buffalo (9/7).
-Picked off a pass in the third quarter and returned it 25 yards to setup a Penn State touchdown against Idaho (8/31).
-Picked off a pass in the third quarter and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown, his first career pick-six against Buffalo (9/7).

Garrett Taylor, S, Gr./Sr., 6-0, 198, Richmond, Va./Saint Christopher’s

-Honorable-mention all-conference by coaches and media.
-Collects his second all-conference honor after being named honorable mention by the coaches and media in 2018.
-Is tied for the team lead and ranks No. 6 in the Big Ten with three interceptions.
-Ranks third on the team with 61 tackles.
-Is tied for third on the team with seven pass breakups.
-Made seven tackles, including six solo, with one tackle for loss against Pittsburgh (9/14).
-Collected six tackles and a pass breakup at Iowa (10/12).
-Registered eight tackles, including his first career sack, against Michigan (10/19).
-Tallied 10 tackles, including five solo, at Minnesota (11/9).
-Secured six tackles against Indiana (11/16).
-Recorded a career-high 13 tackles, including six solo, at Ohio State (11/23).
-Posted seven tackles and a forced fumble on Senior Day against Rutgers (11/30).
-One of five Nittany Lions to have earned their degree entering the 2019 season.

Lamont Wade, S, Jr./Jr., 5-9, 199, Clairton, Pa./Clairton

-Honorable-mention all-conference by coaches and media.
-Is fourth on the team with a career-high 64 tackles.
-Ranks No. 21 in FBS and No. 6 in the Big Ten in forced fumbles with 0.25 per game (3 total).-
-Has five pass break ups and one fumble recovery.
-Named to the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week first team following the Indiana game (11/16).
-Selected to the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week first team following the Iowa game (10/12).
-Named to the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week second team following the Purdue game (10/5).
-Tied a Big Ten record with three forced fumbles at Ohio State (11/23/19), joining Michigan’s Jerry Hartman (vs. Indiana, 10/21/1967), Ohio State’s Antoine Winfield (at Pittsburgh, 9/23/1995), Iowa’s Bob Sanders (vs. Minnesota, 11/15/2003) and Northwestern’s Ifeadi Odenigbo (vs. Western Illinois, 9/20/2014).
-Became the third conference player with three forced fumbles in a Big Ten game.
-Is the sixth player in the FBS since 2000 to have three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in a game at Ohio State (11/23/19).
-Is the second Big Ten player since 2000 to have three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in a game, joining -Northwestern’s Ifeadi Odenigbo (vs. Western Illinois, 9/20/2014).

Blake Gillikin, P, Sr./Sr., 6-2, 196, Smyrna, Ga./The Westminster Schools

-Honorable-mention all-conference by coaches and media.’
-Collects his second all-conference honor after being named honorable mention by the coaches and media in 2017.
-Is Penn State’s Sportsmanship honoree.
-Named a Pop Warner Award finalist.
-Selected CoSIDA Academic All-District.
-Named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week following the Michigan State game (10/26).
-Named the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week following the Iowa game (10/12).
-Tabbed for the Ray Guy Award Ray’s 8 Team following his performance at Iowa (10/12).
-Selected for the Ray Guy Award Ray’s 8 Team following his performance vs. Pittsburgh (9/14).
-Selected as a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy.
-Tabbed as a semifinalist for the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award.
-Boomed a 72-yard punt against Rutgers (11/30), which is tied for the seventh-longest punt in program history.
-Is the only player in program history with three 70-yard punts.
-Averaged 44.0 yards on eight punts with four punts inside the 20 and two inside the 10 versys Michigan (10/19).
-Averaged 44.2 yards per punt on a career-high-tying eight punts at Michigan State (10/26).

KJ Hamler, KR, Jr./So., 5-9, 176, Pontiac, Mich./IMG Academy (Fla.)

-Honorable-mention all-conference by coaches and media.
-Collects his second all-conference honor after being named honorable mention by the coaches and media as both a kick returner and wide receiver in 2018.
-Ranks No. 4 in the Big Ten and No. 27 in the FBS with 125.17 all-purpose yards.
-Sits No. 22 in the nation and No. 2 in the conference with 615 combined kick return yards.
-Is No. 5 in the Big Ten and No. 49 in the country with 21.3 kickoff return yards per game.
-Named a Maxwell Award semifinalist.


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