A senior from Wallingford, Pa., the 6-3, 233-pound Connor also was named pre-season first team All-Big Ten by Athlon. Last season, he earned first team All-America honors from The Sporting News and was a second team Associated Press All-American. The former Strath Haven High School standout became the 13th linebacker to earn first team All-America honors at Linebacker U under Coach Joe Paterno.
Connor was fifth in the Big Ten with 113 tackles last season and has 274 career stops, 98 away from Paul Poslusznys school record. He was a finalist for the 2006 Bednarik Award and should be among the primary candidates for the Butkus, Bednarik and Rotary Lombardi Awards this season.
Athlon selected six Nittany Lions second team All-Big Ten: QB Anthony Morelli (Pittsburgh), WR Deon Butler (Alexandria, Va.), TE Andrew Quarless (Uniondale, N.Y.), G Rich Ohrnberger (East Meadow, N.Y.), CB Justin King (Pittsburgh) and WR-PR Derrick Williams (Greenbelt, Md.).
Connor and Morelli are the only seniors among the 10 Nittany Lions recognized by Athlon. Morelli is on the cover of Athlons Penn State regional edition. Athlon has Penn State ranked No. 17 in its pre-season Top 25.
In his 42nd season as head coach, Paternos squad returns 15 starters and 33 letterwinners for the 2007 campaign, which begins Sept. 1 vs. Florida International in Beaver Stadium.