PSU players contend for awards
A.Q. Shipley's parents spent Wednesday making last-minute preparations for flying to Florida today, expecting to see their son officially named the winner of the Rimington Trophy as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards show from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on ESPN.
"It's hectic," said Shipley's father, Allan.
The Rimington Trophy honors the nation's outstanding collegiate center.
Shipley, a team captain, previously was a All-Big Ten pick at center for the second consecutive season and was named the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year for 2008.
Shipley, a senior center from Moon, isn't the only Penn State player who's contending for an individual award this season.
Defensive end Aaron Maybin, a redshirt sophomore, is a finalist for the Bednarik Award, which recognizes college's top defensive player.
The Bednarik has become a Penn State monopoly in recent seasons. Linebacker Dan Connor won it last year, and fellow linebacker Paul Posluszny (Hopewell) won in 2005 and '06.
Maybin was a finalist for the Hendricks Award, which goes to the nation's top collegiate defensive end. But Texas' Brian Orapko was announced yesterday as the winner.
The Walter Camp All-America team also will be announced during tonight's ESPN show.
Also, Penn State's Joe Paterno, already named Big Ten Coach of the Year, is one of 10 finalists for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year in the Football Bowl Subdivision. That winner will be announced during halftime of the Motor City Bowl on Dec. 31.
The individual awards are the residue of a successful season that saw the Nittany Lions go 11-1 and win a share of their second Big Ten title in four seasons. They will play Southern Cal on Jan. 1 in the Rose Bowl.
The team will have a pre-bowl media day Friday and is scheduled to leave for California on Dec. 20.