Wisniewski selected as candidate for Lowe's Senior CLASS Award

University Park, Pa. — Penn State pre-season All-American Stefen Wisniewski (Bridgeville) has been selected as one of the candidates for the prestigious Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for the 2010 college football season.

The 30 Football Bowl Subdivision student-athletes excel on and off the field. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

Among the 30 candidates, Wisniewski is one of 10 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Allstate Good Works Team nominees. The senior guard also is among five candidates who were recognized by the College Sports Information Directors of America as 2009 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-Americans.

The candidate class will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.

Wisniewski is one of four Big Ten football student-athletes among the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award candidates. Penn State standout Jason Yeisley was the 2009 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award winner in men's soccer.

Wisniewski has been named a 2010 first team pre-season All-American by Sporting News, Phil Steele's College Football Preview and Lindy's Football Preview. He also is on the Watch List for the Rotary Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy.

Wisniewski earned third team All-America and first team All-Big Ten accolades in 2009, starting all 13 games at center for the Nittany Lions. He moved back to guard during spring practice, where he started 12 games in 2008, helping Penn State win the Big Ten Championship and a berth in the Rose Bowl.

The talented and highly-motivated Wisniewski is among Penn State's most accomplished and community service-oriented student-athletes. He has made mission trips to the Dominican Republic during spring break this past March and in the summer of 2009. Wisniewski has participated in the Student-Athlete Advisory Board (SAAB)'s Autism Awareness reading program, THON Make-A-Wish program, Pennsylvania Special Olympics' State Summer Games, Habitat for Humanity, Athletic Directors Leadership Institute, Athletes In Action, The Second Mile and tutored local high school students, among his vast array of community service activities.

A secondary education major in the Schreyer Honors College, Wisniewski was selected a 2009 first-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American®, as he added to his 2008 second-team honor. Owner of a superlative 3.92 grade-point average, the squad's highest mark, Wisniewski will have an opportunity in 2010 to become Penn State's first three-time Academic All-American. He should be a strong candidate for the Campbell Trophy, the academic Heisman, presented by the National Football Foundation

A U.S. Army All-American at Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School, Wisniewski has earned a perfect 4.0 GPA the past three semesters He spent the 2009-10 academic year student teaching 10th-grade English at State College Area High School.

A starter in 25 of 26 games the past two seasons, Wisniewski saw action on 905 snaps in 2009, the third-highest total on the team. Wisniewski and the O-Line played a huge role in Penn State ranking No. 2 in the Big Ten in total offense at 406.9 ypg. The Nittany Lions were the only Big Ten team ranked in the top five of the conference's four primary offensive statistical categories in 2009.

Behind the protection of Wisniewski and his linemates, Daryll Clark finished No. 2 in the Big Ten in passing efficiency and threw a school season-record 24 touchdown passes last year. Penn State was third in the Big Ten in fewest sacks allowed and eclipsed 500 yards of total offense on four occasions, including 512 in the regular-season finale at Michigan State.

Penn State is 51-13 (79.7) since the start of the 2005 season, tied for the nation's No. 7 winning percentage over that span, winning four of its last five bowl games under Hall of Fame Coach Joe Paterno.

The Nittany Lions return 36 letterwinners for the upcoming season, including 13 starters, as well as 10 players that have starting experience. Penn State opens the season Sept. 4 vs. Youngstown State at noon on Big Ten Network.

Penn State Football Eve presented by HappyValley.com launches the season on Friday, Sept. 3 at 7:45 p.m. in Beaver Stadium. The event and parking are free.

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Last Updated November 18, 2010