Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still's monster senior season has earned him acclaim from across the college football world. On Monday, the 6-foot-5, 310-pound force was named a finalist for both the Bednarik Award, presented to the nation's best defensive player, and the Outland Trophy, awarded to the nation's best interior lineman.
As the Nittany Lions prepare to face Wisconsin this weekend in the de facto Big Ten Leaders Division championship game, Badgers coach Bret Bielema has taken notice, too.
"Wherever he's at, and whatever the blocking scheme is, I think you've got to be cognizant of how you're blocking him, and what you're doing," Bielema told reporters on Monday. "He's a big guy that can move extremely well. He's got a very quick first step. I always admire that in defensive linemen, how fast they can penetrate the line of scrimmage."
Still has racked up 16.5 tackles for loss, including 15 solo tackles for loss, a figure that leads the Big Ten. He has also racked up 53 tackles, four sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Along with fellow defensive tackle Jordan Hill, Still has been a key cog in a defense allowing the third fewest points per game nationally.
As he prepares to play his final regular season game in blue and white, however, Penn State interim head coach Tom Bradley said at his weekly press conference on Tuesday that it's Still's off-field contributions that make him a memorable player.
"He's been playing great," Bradley said. "I'm going to remember him for his great leadership off the field with the players, the way he's handled the team. The way he's been taking those guys under his wing and making sure that everybody does the right thing, and what happens is, nobody gets to see that side of it, they just see him on the field. He spends a lot of time in that locker room off the field communicating, making sure we're on the right page."