Franklin named Big 10 Coach of the Year

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UNIVERSITY PARK- Penn State’s James Franklin today was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year as selected by the conference’s media, while kicker Tyler Davis (St. Charles, Ill.) was selected to the All-Big Ten first team by the coaches and second team by the media. In addition, defensive end Garrett Sickels (Red Bank, N.J.) garnered second-team All-Big Ten accolades from the coaches and third-team honors from the media.

Additionally, defensive end Evan Schwan (Harrisburg, Pa.) was selected to the All-Big Ten third team by both the coaches and media, while linebacker Jason Cabinda (Flemington, N.J.) and Marcus Allen (Upper Marlboro, Md.) each claimed third team honors from the coaches and were named to the media’s honorable mention team. Also on the Big Ten honorable mention squad were senior linebacker Brandon Bell (Mays Landing, N.J.), true freshman punter Blake Gillikin (Smyrna, Ga.), junior defensive tackle Parker Cothren (Huntsville, Ala.) and sophomore cornerback John Reid (Mount Laurel, N.J.). Senior long snapper Tyler Yazujian (Royersford, Pa.) is Penn State’s sportsmanship selection.

Head Coach James Franklin — 3rd Season
• First Conference Coach of the Year honor.
• Fifth time a Penn State head coach has won the Coach of the Year, joining Joe Paterno (1994, 2005, 2008) and Bill O’Brien (2012).
• Led the Nittany Lions to the Big Ten East title and a berth in the Big Ten Championship Game.
• Nittany Lions are ranked seventh in the CFP poll and eighth in both the AP and Coaches polls.
• Guided the Nittany Lions to 10 wins this season, the sixth double-digit win season since Penn State joined the Big Ten.
• Nittany Lions are riding an eight-game winning streak, the longest since 2009.
• Led Penn State to its second eight-win Big Ten season, joining the 8-0 1994 team.
• Penn State has won eight consecutive Big Ten games for the first time since that perfect 1994 season.
• The 10 wins are the most for Franklin in his career.
• Has guided his team to a bowl berth in each of his six seasons as a head coach, making him one of 12 active FBS coaches to do so.

Tyler Davis, K/P, Sr./Jr., 5-11, 180, St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles North
• First all-conference selection.
• Is the first Nittany Lion kicker to earn first team honors since Kevin Kelly in 2008.
• Leads the team in scoring with 113 points via 21 field goals and 50 extra points.
• Is 21-for-23 in field goals and a perfect 50-for-50 in extra points.
• Tied No. 1 in the B1G and No. 8 in the FBS in field goals per game (1.75 fgpg).
• Tied for No. 1 in the Big Ten and No. 11 nationally with a .913 field goal percentage.
• Is No. 2 in the Big Ten and No. 18 nationally in scoring (9.4 ppg).
• Off to the best kicking start in Penn State history.
• Joins Brett Conway (62, 1994) and Kevin Kelly (60) as the only place kickers with 50-plus made extra points in a single season.
• Is tied for No. 4 on Penn State’s single season field goals made charts (21).
• Ranks No. 8 on the PSU single season scoring charts (113 points).
• Davis and Saquon Barkley are the are the first set of teammates to score 100 points in the same season.
• Ranks tied for No. 12 on Penn State’s career field goals made charts with 29.
• Owns the school record for consecutive field goals made with 18, breaking Sam Ficken’s mark of 15 straight makes between the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
• Had his consecutive field goals made streak snapped on a first quarter blocked kick vs. Ohio State.
• The 18-straight made field goals were tied for the longest streak in the Big Ten since Brad Craddock (UMD) converted 24 straight in from 2013-14.
• The 18 consecutive field goals are tied for the fourth-longest streak in Big Ten history.
• Named one of three Lou Groza Award Stars of the Week on Oct. 3, 2016, following his effort vs. Minnesota, which included a game-tying field goal in the final seconds of regulation.
• Earned Big Ten Co-Special Teams Player of the Week (McCarron – Iowa) following a 4-for-4 effort on field goal attempts and a career-high 15 points at Rutgers (11/19).

Garrett Sickels, DE, Sr./Jr., 6-4, 260, Red Bank, N.J./Red Bank Regional
• First all-conference selection.
• Is tied for the team lead and is tied for 11th in the Big Ten with 6.0 sacks.
• Leads the Nittany Lions and is tied for 10th in the Big Ten with 12.5 tackles for loss.
• Ranks seventh on the team with 43 tackles.
• Named to the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week following his performance vs. No. 2 Ohio State (10/22).
• Named to the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week after his showing at Indiana (11/12).
• Totaled career highs for tackles (9), tackles for loss (3.5) and sacks (2.5), all coming in the second half, in the win over No. 2 Ohio State…Made two solo takedowns of J.T. Barrett and combined with Evan Schwan for another sack…Added a solo TFL on Curtis Samuel…Helped the defense hold Ohio State scoreless in two quarters for the first time since Michigan State in 2015, which was Ohio State’s last loss.

Evan Schwan, DE, Gr./Sr., 6-6, 263, Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin
• First all-conference selection.
• Is tied for the team lead with 6.0 sacks.
• Ranks ninth in the Big Ten in sacks per game (0.55)
• Has 25 tackles on the season, including 7.5 for loss.
• Made his first collegiate start vs. Kent State (9/3).
• Made three tackles against Ohio State and had two combined sacks…Teamed with Garrett Sickels on a third quarter tackedown of J.T. Barrett…Combined with Kevin Givens on a fourth down sack of J.T. Barrett to seal Penn State’s first win over a Top 2 team since 1990 (at No. 1 Notre Dame) and the first at home since 1982 (No. 2 Nebraska).

Jason Cabinda, LB, Jr./Jr., 6-1, 232, Flemington, N.J./Hunterdon Central
• Second all-conference selection, after an appearance on the honorable mention team (coaches and media) last season.
• Is tied for third on the team with 62 tackles, despite having only played in seven games.
• Has three pass breakups and one quarterback hurry.
• Registered 4.0 tackles for loss and a sack on the season.
• Awarded a Helmet Sticker by College Football Final following 13-tackle effort vs. Ohio State (10/22).
• Named to the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week after his showing at Rutgers (11/19).
• Has eight-or-more tackles in six of the seven games he has played this season.
• Logged eight-or-more stops in nine of his last 11 games dating back to 2015.
Marcus Allen, S, Jr./Jr., 6-2, 202, Upper Marlboro, Md./Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr.
• Second all-conference selection, after an appearance on the honorable mention team (coaches and media) last season.
• Has made a career-high 90 tackles in 2016 to lead the Nittany Lions.
• Owns a pair of fumble recoveries and one forced fumble on the season.
• Has 6.0 tackles for loss on the year.
• Selected Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 3 for his 22-tackle effort vs. Minnesota on Oct. 1.
• Earned Rose Bowl Game Big Ten Player of the Week on Oct. 3 for his efforts vs. the Golden Gophers.
• Earned Co-Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week for his blocked field goal attempt vs. No. 2 Ohio State (10/22), sharing with teammate Grant Haley.
• His 22 tackles vs. Minnesota were the most by a Penn State player since Paul Posluszny made 22 stops at Northwestern in 2005.
• The 22 stops are tied with Posluszny and Ron Crosby (vs. Ohio, 1974) for No. 4 on the all-time single game tackles list.
• His 22 tackles are the most by a Big Ten player since Wisconsin’s Mike Taylor had 22 stops at Ohio State on Oct. 29, 2011.
• The 22-tackle effort vs. Minnesota (10/1) ranks No. 3 on the single game list in 2016 among FBS defenders (24 – Obi Melifonwu, Connecticut & Rodney Butler, NMSU).
• Blocked his first career kick on a 45-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter against Ohio State, which was returned 60 yards by Grant Haley for the game-winning touchdown…It was Penn State’s first blocked field goal since Kyle Baublitz blocked a field goal try in the four overtime victory against Michigan in the 2013 Penn State White Out game…The block was one of two blocked kicks in the game (Cam Brown – punt) and helped Penn State block two kicks in a game for the first time since blocking two against FIU in the 2007 season opener (FG & punt)…Helped the defense hold Ohio State scoreless in two quarters for the first time since Michigan State in 2015, which was Ohio State’s last loss.

Brandon Bell, LB, Sr./Sr., 6-1, 233, Mays Landing, N.J./Oakcrest
• First all-conference selection
• Ranks second on the team with a career-high 75 stops in his senior campaign, despite missing four games.
• Has 6.5 tackles for loss, including 3.0 sacks, on the year.
• Has one interception, three pass breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery on the season.
• Named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week and College Sports Madness National Defensive Player of the Week following an 18-tackle effort vs. No. 2 Ohio State (10/22).
• Collected the Bednarik Award Player of the Week, given to the National Defensive Player of the Week by the Maxwell Football Club following his efforts vs. No. 2 Ohio State (10/22).
• Selected as the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week for his 18-tackle effort vs. Michigan State (11/26).
• Is the eighth Penn Stater to earn the Walter Camp NDPOTW honor since 2004 and first since Michael Mauti in 2012.
• His two 18-tackle efforts rank tied for No. 16 on the FBS single game charts.
• Is one of just three players in the FBS to post multiple games with 18-plus tackles in 2016, joining Nick Cuthbert of Kent State and Rodney Butler of New Mexico State.

Blake Gillikin, P/K, Fr./Fr., 6-2, 182, Smyrna, Ga./The Westminster Schools
• First all-conference selection.
• Has 54 punts for an average 41.8 yards per punt.
• Owns a season-long punt of 69 yards to go along with nine punts of 50 or more yards.
• Of his 54 punts, 20 have been down inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.
• Has seven kicks downed inside the opponent’s 10-yard line.
• Was a candidate for the Ray Guy Award, given to the nation’s top collegiate punter.
• Is just the third true freshman to start at punter since 1946 (1979, Ralph Giacomarro; 2014 Daniel Pasquariello).
• Is No. 50 in the NCAA and No. 3 in the Big Ten in punting average (41.8 ypp).
Parker Cothren, DT, Sr./Jr., 6-4, 295, Huntsville, Ala./Hazel Green
• First all-conference selection.
• Has 22 tackles on the season, including 5.5 tackles for loss.
• Owns 2.0 sacks on the year.
• Totaled a career-high seven tackles against Temple…Added a career-best 2.5 tackles for loss…Combined with Ryan Buchholz for a second quarter sack, his fourth career game with 0.5 sack.
• Ranked second on the team with four tackles at Rutgers…Combined with Koa Farmer on a tackle for loss in the second quarter.

John Reid, CB, So./So., 5-10, 191, Mount Laurel, N.J./St. Joseph’s Prep
• First all-conference selection.
• Is eighth on the team with 34 tackles on the season, including 4.0 tackles for loss.
• Has a team-best seven pass breakups.
• Owns one interception and one fumble recovery on the year.
• Registered 21 punt returns for an average of 7.7 yards per return this season.
• Has a long punt return of 59 yards.
• Named to the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week after his showing vs. Maryland (10/8).
• Named to the Pro Football Focus National Team of the Week following his performance at Purdue (10/29).
• No. 39 in the NCAA and No. 3 in the Big Ten in punt return average (7.7 ypr).
Tyler Yazujian, SN, 5th/Sr., 5-11, 235, Royersford, Pa./Spring-Ford
• Has handled all of the long snapping duties since the start of the 2014 season.
• Selected CoSIDA Academic All-District.
• Named a semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy, which recognizes an individual as the premier football scholar-athlete in the nation.
• Cleared punt returner after a muffed punt to enable Jordan Smith to recover the fumble on the play at Purdue.
• Kept the ball from reaching the end zone on the fourth-quarter Blake Gillikin punt that was downed at the 2-yard line against Michigan State.
Penn State finished the regular season 10-2 overall and 8-1 in Big Ten play after the victory over the Spartans. The Big Ten Championship Game is slated for Saturday with an 8:17 p.m. kick on FOX.