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Penn State Football

Notable Players and Coaches


Heisman Trophy – top player - John Cappelletti (1973).

Maxwell Trophy  - top player - Rich Lucas (1959), Glenn Ressler (1964), Mike Reid (1969), Chuck Fusina (1978), John Cappelletti

                              (1973), Kerry Collins (1994), Larry Johnson (2002).

Walter Camp Player of the Year Award – Larry Johnson (2002).

Davey O’Brien Award-- top quarterback - Todd Blackledge (1982), Kerry Collins (1994).

Doak Walker Award – top running back - Larry Johnson (2002).

Biletnikoff Award – top pass receiver - Bobby Engram (inaugural winner - 1994).

Outland Trophy – top interior lineman - Mike Reid (1969).

Lombardi Trophy – top down lineman - Bruce Clark (1978), Carl Nassib (2015).

Rimington Award - top center – A.Q. Shipley (2008).

Bednarik Award – top defensive player – Paul Posluszny (2005, 2006), Dan Connor (2007).

Butkus Award – top linebacker – LaVar Arrington (1999).


Hendricks Award – top defensive end – Carl Nassib (2015)



Lott Impact Award – Carl Nassib (2015)

Burlsworth Trophy (nation’s outstanding player who started as a walk-on)Matt McGloin (2012)

Vlade Award - most accurate kickerTyler Davis (2016)

Paul Hornung Award (nation's most versatile player) -Saquon Barkley (2017)

1st Team All American - 100 selections

National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete – Dave Joyner (1971), Bruce Bannon (1972), Mark Markovich (1973), Jack Baiorunos (1974), Chuck Correal (1978), John Walsh (1980), Carmen Masciantonio (1984), Lance Hamilton (1985), Brian Siverling (1986), Matt Johnson (1987), Tony Pittman (1994), Jeff Hartings (1995), Wally Richardson (1996), Aaron Collins (1997), Paul Posluszny (2006), Stefan Wisniewski (2010), John Urschel (2013), Trace McSorley (2019) 

AAU Sullivan Award (nation's best amateur athlete) - John Urschel (2013)

Campbell Award (nation's premier scholar-athlete) - John Urschel (2013)

Senior CLASS Award (most outstanding senior student-athlete) - John Urschel (2013)

In 2010, Evan Royster (2007-2010) became Penn State’s career rushing yardage leader (3,932  yds), eclipsing Curt Warner (1979-1982 – 3,398 yds).  Royster became the first Nittany Lion to surpass 1,000 rushing yards in 3 different seasons.

Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year -- Joe Paterno (1986)

All-time Winningest Coach in Division 1 -- Joe Paterno (409)

America Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year Award -- Joe Paterno (5 times)

Bear Bryant Coach of the Year -- Joe Paterno (1986); Bill O'Brien (2012)


Woody Hayes Coach of the Year – James Franklin (2016)

Various Coach of the Year Awards (Associated Press, Bobby Dodd, Home Depot/ESPN, Maxwell Football Club, Pigskin Club of Washington D.C., Sporting News, Walter Camp Foundation) – Joe Paterno (multiple years); James Franklin (2016)

In 2010, the Maxwell Football Club of Philadelphia established the Joseph V. Paterno Award to annually honor that college football coach who best embodies Coach Paterno’s values.  (Subsequent to the establishment of the award, Coach Paterno became the first Division I [FBS] to reach 400 victories [2010], joining only Eddie Robinson [Grambling] and John Gagliardi [St. John’s, MN] in reaching this milestone; in 2011, Paterno surpassed Robinson and ended his career with 409 victorious, the most in NCAA Division 1 history.)  The inaugural winner of the Joseph V. Paterno Award was Frank Beamer of Virginia Tech.  As a result of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, the award was retired in 2011.

Coach Paterno also was named recipient of the NCAA President’s Gerald R. Ford Award.

AT&T ESPN National Coach of the Year – Bill O’Brien (2012)

Maxwell Football Club of Philadelphia National Coach of the Year – Bill O’Brien (2012)


Chicago Tribune Silver Football – conference MVP – Kerry Collins (1994), Michael Robinson (2005), Darryl Clark (tie, 2009), Saquon Barkley (tie, 2016; 2017).

Offensive Player of the Year – Kerry Collins (1994, coaches and media); Curtis Enis (1997, coaches); Michael Robinson (2005, coaches); Saquon Barkley (2016,2017)

Defensive Player of the Year – LaVar Arrington (1998, coaches); Courtney Brown (1999, coaches and media); Jared Odrick (2009, coaches).

Offensive Lineman of the Year – A.Q. Shipley (2008).

Defensive Lineman of the Year – Courtney Brown (1999), Jimmy Kennedy (2002), Tamba Hali (2005), Jared Odrick (2009).

Freshman of the Year – Curtis Enis (1995, media), Saquon Barkley (2015, BTN).

In 2011, the Big Ten named its annual football player awards after former Conference standouts; two of these awards honor former Penn State players – the Smith-(Courtney) Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year and the (Ted) Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year.

Thompson-Randel El Freshman of the Year – Deion Barnes (2012), Christian Hackenberg (2013)

Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year – Allen Robinson (2012, 2013)

Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year - Michael Mauti (2012), Mike Hull (2014)

Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year – Devon Still (inaugural winner - 2011).

Nagurski- Woodson Defensive Player of the Year – Devon Still (inaugural winner - 2011), Carl Nassib (2015)

Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year – Saquon Barkley (2016,2017)

Rodgers-Dwight Return Specialist of the Year - Saquon Barkley (2017)

Ameche-Dayne Running Back of the Year – Saquon Barkely (2016, 2017)

Grange-Griffin MVP (Big 10 Championship Game) Trace McSorly (2016)

1st team All-Big 10 - 45 selections

Dave McClain Coach of the Year (media) – Joe Paterno (1994, 2005, 2008); Bill O'Brien (2012), James Franklin (2016) 

Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year (coaches) – Bill O’Brien (2012).

Big 10 Coach of the Year – James Franklin (2016)

The Big 10 intended to award the Stagg-Paterno Trophy to the first winner of the Big 10 championship game.  As a result of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Coach Paterno’s name was removed from the award.


Players -- Pete Mauthe (1909-12), Dexter Very (1909-12),Eugene “Shorty” Miller (1910-13), Glenn Killinger (1918, 20-21), Harry “Light

                 Horse Harry” Wilson (1921-23), Steve Suhey (1942, 46-47), Rich Lucas (1957-59), Dave Robinson (1960-62),

                 Glenn Ressler (1962-64), Ted Kwalick (1966-68), Mike Reid (1966, 68-69), Dennis Onkotz (1967-69), Jack Ham* (1968-70),

                 Lydell Mitchell (1969-71), John Cappelletti (1971-73), Keith Dorney (1975-78), Curt Warner (1979-82), Shane Conlan (1982-86), Bill Bowes** (1962-64); Kerry Collins (1991-1994)

                 * also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame

                 ** selected in recognition of his success as head coach at the University of New Hampshire

Coaches – Dick Harlow (1915-1917, played 1910-1911), Hugo Bezdek (1918-1929), Bob Higgins (1930-1948, played 1914-1917, 1919),

                 Charles “Rip” Engle (1950-1965), Joe Paterno (1966-2011).

Note: From 1915 - 2011 (with the exception of 1949), Penn State was coached by future College Football Hall of Fame members.  Also, Bill Hollenback, coach in 1909 and 1911-1914, earned a place in the College football Hall of Fame as a halfback at the University of Pennsylvania.


August Michalske (PSU 1923-25), Lennie Moore (PSU 1953-55), Dave Robinson (1959-1962), Jack Ham* (PSU1968-1970),

Franco Harris (PSU 1969-71), Mike Munchak (PSU 1979-81).

* also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame

Note:  Two players on the 1969 and 1970 Penn State teams (Ham/Harris) are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  The 1968 and 1969 teams each placed four players in the College Football Hall of Fame (Ham, Kwalick, Onkotz, Reid from 1968, Ham, Mitchell, Onkotz, and Reid from 1969).


William "Pop" Golden (coach 1900-02)

William “Mother” Dunn (1903-06)

Lloyd “Dad” Engle (1910-12)

Eugene “Shorty” Miller (1910-13)

Robert “Punk” Berryman (1911-15)

Harry “Light Horse Harry” Wilson (1921-23)

Charles “Rip” Engle (coach 1950-65)

Tom "Scrap" Bradley (1975-8, coach 1979-2011)

Anthony “Spice” Adams (1998-2002)

Note: “Dad” Engle was Coach “Rip” Engle’s uncle; the above list therefore contains a pop/dad, a mother, an uncle, and a nephew.

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