Senior defensive end Carl Nassib became the first Penn State player to win the Ted Hendricks Award on Wednesday.
Nassib was chosen as the nation’s top defensive end ahead of Michigan State’s Shilique Calhoun and Clemson’s Shaq Lawson, who finished in a tie for second, as well as Oregon’s DeForest Buckner, Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett and Oklahoma State’s Emmanuel Ogbah.
“Three years ago (defensive coordinator) John Butler called me ‘the stork’ and at the time I didn’t know what it meant so I took it as an insult, but after realizing who it represented (Ted Hendricks), I see it now as a huge compliment,” Nassib said in a press release. “To receive this award is an amazing accomplishment and honor that I will always remember. I’m thankful for my family, friends, coaches and teammates for helping me strive to be my best. I could not have done it without them.”
Nassib led the country with 15 1/2 sacks and six forced fumbles during the regular season. He set Penn State’s single-season sack record.
Ted Hendricks, the award’s name sake and college football’s first three-time first-team All-American, called Nassib “an outstanding individual.”
“Carl Nassib is not only an outstanding football player, he’s also a scholar and humanitarian with an exemplary work ethic on and off the field,” Hendricks said. “We welcome him to a stellar group of past winners.”
Nassib and defensive tackle Austin Johnson were also named to ESPN.com’s All-Big Ten team on Wednesday. Johnson had 70 tackles, 5 1/2 sacks and 13 tackles for loss to help the Nittany Lions go 7-5 in the regular season.