Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Derrick Williams named MVP

I think this is a rather obvious choice.

Receiver Derrick Williams was named Penn State's outstanding senior player, highlighting the State College Quarterback Club's annual football banquet.

Williams ranks third all-time in Penn State career receptions (157), fifth in career all-purpose yards (4,076) and 10th in career receiving yards (1,709). He's also returned five career kicks for touchdowns, the most by any player in the Joe Paterno era.

He is the nation's only player to return three kicks for scores and the only one to score touchdowns by rushing, receiving and on kick and punt returns.

Derrick never lived up to the immense hype that came with him to Happy Valley but most of that was not his fault. Not only did Williams bring the focus of a No.1 recruit with him but he helped recruit other big names and was an ambassador for the Nittany Lions. In his four years at Penn State Derrick helped win two Big Ten titles and send Penn State to four bowl games (two BCS). That's a great accomplishment considering they were coming off 3-9 and 4-7 seasons when Derrick signed on. It's easy to join an already powerful team and be part of something great, but it's vastly more satisfying to build something great from the ground up and that's what Derrick and his class did. Congrats D.W. and thanks!

Update: congratulations to A.Q. Shipley for winning the Rimington Trophy which is presented to the nation's outstanding center. In other words...

It's a major award!

Shipley was one of six finalists for the award. He beat out Arkansas' Jonathan Luigs, last year's Rimington winner. Other finalists include Alabama's Antoine Caldwell, California's Alex Mack, Oregon's Max Unger and Louisville's Eric Wood.

The Rimington Trophy committee selects its winner based on four All-American teams that will be announced this month -- American Football Coaches Association, Walter Camp Foundation, Football Writers Association of America and Sporting News.

Shipley, named the Big Ten Conference's offensive lineman of the year, considered transferring after his redshirt freshman year, when he shuffled between defensive tackle, guard and center in a two-month span.

But since moving to center permanently in the spring of 2006, he has become the leader of the offensive line. Penn State coach Joe Paterno said earlier this year that he moved Shipley to center out of "desperation."

"We needed a center," Paterno said. "Shipley wasn't happy about it at the time. He was a natural nose guard. ... I think it's worked out and I think he's happy with it.

"It was a good move for the team because Shipley has become a real strong leader. He's a bright kid, good worker, and we needed some leadership on offense."


jd said...

i believe that derrick surpassed expectations. 5 star skill position recruits usually are prima donnas.

i'll take 3 star, headstrong recruits any day over some headcase with speed.

Galen said...

With all of the trouble his teammates got into over the last 4 years it's also nice to point out that Derrick kept his nose clean.

Mike @ ZN said...

Considering he hasn't broken any records at Penn State, it's pretty impressive that he'll go down as one of the greatest players ever to wear the Blue and White.