Now we turn our attention to the Unsung Hero of the 2005 season. Here are the candidates.
Overshadowed by Alan Zemaitis in the secondary, the senior safety not only returned from a neck injury that sidelined him in 2004, but quietly rolled up 86 tackles (48 unassisted), which was good enough for the No. 2 spot on the team.
A unit that was expected to be average at best, the offensive line was perhaps the most pleasant surprise of the 2005 season, helping to gain 2,253 yards through the air and 2,415 yards on the ground.
Paxson was a consistent force on the defensive line, often handling double teams to open up opportunities for fellow linemen Tamba Hali and Jay Alford. Seeing starts in nearly every game, he ended up with 38 tackles (21 unassisted).
Returning to his natural position at fullback, Snow was instrumental in helping to pave the way for Tony Hunt's 1,047 yards. Although he only carried the ball nine times this season, three of those went for touchdowns.
Overshadowed by Paul Poslsuzny, Shaw was No. 3 in tackles on the team, pulling down 73 (43 unassisted) and 4.5 sacks. He was instrumental in a defensive unit that only allowed 99 yards rushing per game.
The NitPick Awards are the only honors given to the Penn State program by the fans of the Nittany Nation. Voting is conducted exclusively at FightOnState.com.