Wisniewski, Rocco honored by National Football Foundation

December 10, 2010

New York — A pair of Penn State's finest were honored Tuesday, Dec. 7, at the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame's 53rd Annual celebration of college football.

Senior All-America guard Stefen Wisniewski (Bridgeville) was recognized as one of 16 National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame Scholar-Athletes from across all NCAA and NAIA divisions.

Frank Rocco, a former Penn State Director of Football Operations and assistant coach, was honored for his efforts with the NFF's Central Pennsylvania Chapter. Rocco was one of five individuals from across the nation to receive a 2010 NFF Chapter Leadership Award. A member of the Penn State staff from 1982-2000, Rocco is the recipient for the East Region.

Wisniewski and the 2010 Scholar-Athletes were honored at the National Football Foundation's 53rd Annual black tie awards dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. A 2010 AFCA All-American, Wisniewski will receive an $18,000 scholarship for post-graduate studies. A three-time All-Big Ten lineman, he is 16th Nittany Lion to be selected a Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete during Coach Joe Paterno's Hall of Fame tenure.

During his visit, Wisniewski and the Scholar-Athletes attended the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular and dined at Mickey Mantle's Restaurant in Central Park on Monday. He and his family also got to look over New York City from the top of the Empire State Building and dined on New York style pizza.

On Tuesday, Wisniewski participated in a press conference and did an interview on the ESPN/DirecTV Drive to the National Championship bus for ESPN's College Football Live before the Hall of Fame dinner activities began.

"I really enjoyed the show at Radio City," Wisniewski said. "The Rockettes were fantastic, the music and whole show was great and the ending was outstanding. I enjoyed having a chance to get to meet and hang out with the other Scholar-Athletes. They are all very well accomplished on the football field, in the classroom and in their communities."

Owner of a superlative 3.91 grade-point average, Wisniewski was selected a 2009 and '10 first-team ESPN/CoSIDA Academic All-American®, as he added to his 2008 second-team honor. He is the first Penn State Football student-athlete to be a three-time ESPN/CoSIDA Academic All-American®. A secondary education major in the Schreyer Honors College, he is on schedule to graduate later this month.

Penn State will clash with Florida in the 25th Outback Bowl at 1 p.m. on New Year's Day at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. Paterno's squad will be meeting a Southeastern Conference opponent in a bowl game for the third time in the past six years and will be seeking its fifth bowl victory since 2005.

The Nittany Lions will be making their 37th post-season trip under Paterno, who is the all-time leader in bowl wins (24) and appearances. He will be taking a team to a 25th New Year's bowl game, having compiled a superlative 17-7 mark. Penn State is 3-0 in the Outback Bowl, beating Tennessee in the 2007 contest in its last appearance.

For Outback Bowl ticket information, go to www.GoPSUsports.com/tickets. Tickets also are available by calling 814-865-5555 weekdays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated December 14, 2010