A crowd of approximately 900 packed the main ballroom at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center.
This past Thursday, Posluszny became just the second two-time winner of the Bednarik Award, presented to the nations top defensive player. Penn States 13th two-time first team All-American, he also is a two-time first team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American and was selected the 2006 Academic All-American of the Year.
The 2005 Butkus Award winner, Posluszny is the leader of one of the nations top defenses. He leads Penn State with 108 tackles, which ranks No. 3 in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lion defense is ranked in the Top 20 nationally in rushing (87.8 ypg, 10th), total (279.0 ypg, 16th), pass efficiency defense (104.4 rating, 11th) scoring defense (14.8 ppg, 11th) and sacks (38, T 8th) .
A starter in the last 36 games, Posluszny is the schools career tackle leader (364) and the first Nittany Lion to earn three 100-tackle seasons. The former Hopewell High School standout has 108 hits (65 solo), with 7.0 TFL, 3.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and four pass break-ups. The Lions first two-time co-captain since 1968-69, Posluszny has an opportunity to become the first Penn Stater to lead the team in tackles three consecutive years.
In addition to the player awards (see below), former Penn State standout Wally Triplett was presented the Alumni Athlete Award. A running back, Triplett was the first African-American to start and letter at Penn State, from 1946-48. Triplett, teammate Denny Hoggard and Penn State were responsible for integrating the Cotton Bowl, as the 1947 Lions played SMU to a 13-13 tie in the 1948 Cotton Bowl.
After graduation, Triplett was drafted by the Detroit Lions, making him the first African-American player to be formally drafted by a National Football League team. He played professionally with the Lions (1949-50) and Chicago Cardinals (1952-53).
The State College Quarterback Club also presented a special award to football video coordinator John Palmgren, for his 33 years of service to Penn State. Palmgren is retiring in June.
Other award winners were:
Richard Maginnis Memorial Award (outstanding offensive lineman) - senior tackle, co-captain Levi Brown (Norfolk, Va.);
John Bruno, Jr. Memorial Award (outstanding member of special teams) - senior punter Jeremy Kapinos (Springfield, Va.);
Ridge Riley Award (senior for "sportsmanship, scholarship, leadership and friendship") - senior defensive end Tim Shaw (Livonia, Mich.);
Nittany Lion Club Academic Achievement Award - senior linebacker Joe Cianciolo (Charleston, S.C.);
Walk-on Award (walk-on player(s) who exemplifies total commitment, loyalty, hard work and courage) senior linebacker Andy Kubic (Honolulu);
The Robert B. Mitinger, Jr. Award was presented for the third time to honor the former Nittany Lion All-American end and State College community leader who passed away in 2004. The award is presented to a squad member who exhibits courage, character and social responsibility. Senior guard Robert Price (Shaker Heights, Ohio), was the recipient of the Mitinger Award.
Coach Joe Paternos Nittany Lions (8-4) will meet No. 17 Tennessee (9-3) in the Outback Bowl on New Years Day in Tampa, Fla. Penn State will be playing in its third January bowl game in the past five years and 33rd bowl game overall under Paterno, the all-time leader in post-season wins (21) and appearances (33).