Paterno, trio of players to represent Penn State at Big Ten Kickoff

July 20, 2010

University Park, Pa. — Coach Joe Paterno and a trio of standout student-athletes will represent Penn State at the 39th Annual Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon Festivities, August 2-3 in Chicago.

Pre-season All-Americans Evan Royster (Fairfax, Va.) and Stefen Wisniewski (Bridgeville) and junior cornerback D'Anton Lynn (Celina, Texas) will join Paterno at the prestigious event. Activities will be held at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago as the Big Ten prepares for its 115th season of football competition.

The Kickoff activities will include news conferences with every Big Ten head coach and players from each squad. Interviews with print and electronic media will take place on both days. The Kickoff Luncheon is August 3, with a crowd of more than 1,500 expected to attend.

The Big Ten Network will provide extensive coverage of Big Ten Kickoff activities. The network is available to 75 million households on 300 cable and satellite providers in the United States and Canada, but is not available on Adams, Armstrong, Blue Ridge and MetroCast cable in Pennsylvania.

The Nittany Lions are entering their 18th season of Big Ten competition. Penn State has earned one of the nation's Top 10 records since the start of the 2005 season, posting a 51-13 (79.7) mark, tied for No. 7 nationally. The Nittany Lions posted their second consecutive 11-2 record last year, finishing No. 9 in the Associated Press poll, earning their 23rd Top 10 finish under Coach Joe Paterno. The Nittany Lions are 10-3 in post-season contests since starting conference play in 1993.

In his 45th season as head coach of the Nittany Lions, Paterno owns a 394-129-3 (75.2) career record. In his 61st year in Happy Valley, the Hall of Fame coach is the all-time victories leader among major college coaches and is six victories away from becoming just the third coach in NCAA history with 400 career wins. Paterno has led Penn State to two national championships (1982, '86), five unbeaten and untied seasons (1968, '69, '73, '86, '94) and is the all-time leader in bowl appearances (36) and wins (24-11-1). He has guided the Nittany Lions to 17-7 record in New Year's bowl games.

Paterno has produced more than 350 NFL players, 77 first team All-Americans, 44 ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, 15 National Football Foundation Hall of Fame Scholar Athletes and 18 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship winners during his illustrious career. He has been selected the AFCA Coach of the Year an unprecedented five times, including 2005, when he led the Lions to an 11-1 record and the Big Ten and FedEx Orange Bowl titles. Paterno has been named Big Ten Dave McClain Coach of the Year three times, including 2008, when he led the Nittany Lions to an 11-2 mark, the Big Ten title and a berth in the Rose Bowl.

 

A senior tailback, Royster has been one of the nation's premier tailbacks the past two seasons, rushing for 1,169 yards in 2009 to earn first team All-Big Ten accolades. He was selected a 2010 third team pre-season All-American by Phil Steele's. In 2008, Royster was among 10 semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award and earned second team all-conference accolades after gaining 1,236 yards and scoring 12 touchdowns.

 

Royster enters this season with 2,918 career rushing yards, good for No. 8 in the Penn State record books. He needs 481 yards to break Curt Warner's school record of 3,398 yards, set during the 1979-82 campaigns. Royster needs just 82 yards to become the sixth Nittany Lion to eclipse 3,000 yards on the ground. During the 2009 season, he started all 13 games, gaining 1,169 yards, second-highest in the Big Ten, on 205 carries and scored six touchdowns. His 5.7 average was best among the Big Ten rushers with at least 110 carries. Royster was sixth on the team with 16 receptions for 187 yards, scoring twice. He led the team with 1,364 all-purpose yards (104.9 ypg), ranking No. 3 in the conference through the regular season.

 

Royster delivered six 100-yard rushing games last season, led by 137 yards in the 20-0 win over Minnesota. He has 12 century-busting games in his career and the Nittany Lions are 12-0 when he breaks 100 yards. The former Westfield High School All-Met selection is on schedule to graduate in August in Management Information Systems.

 

A senior guard, 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 thus far. He also is a candidate for the Rotary Lombardi 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. He has started 25 of 26 games the past two seasons.

A secondary education major in the Schreyer Honors College, Wisniewski spent last year student teaching 10th-grade English at State College Area High School. He 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®. A U.S. Army All-American at Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School, he earned a perfect 4.0 GPA the last three semesters and is on schedule to graduate in December.

 

A junior, Lynn earned a starting assignment at one of the cornerback posts and held onto it throughout the 2009 season. He garnered honorable-mention All-Big Ten accolades and was instrumental in Penn State's Top 10 defense. Lynn made 35 tackles (26 solo), eighth on the team and tops among cornerbacks. He recorded 3.5 tackles for loss, including half a sack against Iowa, and five pass breakups. Lynn was highly productive for a secondary that began the 2009 season with four new starters. He recorded a career-high eight tackles (five solo) in the 34-13 win at Northwestern, helping hold the Wildcats to less than half their season scoring average.

Lynn was an Associated Press Class 3A first-team all-state selection at Celina High School in Texas.

Penn State returns 36 letterwinners and 13 starters for the 2010 campaign, as well as 10 players with starting experience. The Nittany Lions host Youngstown State on Sept. 4 (12:00 p.m., Big Ten Network) to open the season and visit 2009 BCS National Champion on Sept. 11 (7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN).

  • D'Anton Lynn

    IMAGE: Penn State Sports Information

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 18, 2010