Penn State's strong tradition of producing top linebackers and defensive linemen was recognized again Monday, when a player from each position won first-team All-Big Ten honors.
Senior middle linebacker Mike Hull captured the notice after leading the conference in tackles per game (11.2) and total tackles (134) during the regular season. With a bowl game remaining, Hull already ranks sixth on State's single-season tackles list and sixth on the career tackles list (288).
He was also named the conference's Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year.
I was just incredibly humbled, Hull told BTN when asked about receiving the award. It felt great to be able to do this, especially coming from a university with such a great linebacker tradition.
Hull made the first team of coaches and media.
Redshirt junior defensive tackle Anthony Zettel earned a spot on the first team after finishing tied for fourth in sacks (eight) and tackles for loss (1.25 per game), and leading the Lions with three interceptions (one of which he returned for a score). Despite being a first-year starter, Zettel is already tied for 15th all-time in sacks at Penn State (16).
Zettel made the first team of the coaches and media.
This marks the 13th time in the last 15 seasons that at least one Penn State defensive lineman has won first-team All-Conference honors.
Meanwhile, PSU linebackers have received first-team All-Big Ten notice 13 times since the Lions joined the conference in 1993.
No other members of Penn State's defense, which leads the nation in stopping the rush, made the first or second teams.
The lone Penn Stater to earn first- or second-team All-Big Ten notice on offense was redshirt freshman receiver DaeSean Hamilton, who made the media’s second team.
Kicker Sam Ficken earned second-team honors from the coaches and media.
The media selected the following Lions as honorable-mention picks: S Adrian Amos, DE Deion Barnes, TE Jesse James, DT Austin Johnson, CB Jordan Lucas, OL Angelo Mangiro and CB Trevor Williams.
The coaches named Amos, Barnes, Hamilton, James and Lucas to the honorable-mention list.
Injured safety Ryan Keiser won the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award for Penn State.