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Penn State Awards Tracker: Week 3

9/18/2012

With its first victory of the season -- and a convincing one, at that -- Penn State watched one player slide up the charts and another get added to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List.

Every week, NittanyNation will check in and update how some of its best players are faring on those awards lists. Penn State has five players vying for nine awards this season, and three of those five players are on defense.

Most players remained steady this week, but two are quickly making their marks:

WR Allen Robinson (Biletnikoff): He wasn't on the preseason watch list, but he's become impossible to ignore and was added to the list Tuesday morning. Robinson had five catches for 136 yards Saturday and became the first Nittany Lion in three years to haul in three TDs. His route-running helps create separation, and those numbers help separate him from other wideouts. If he can somehow continue this pace, he could challenge for a spot among the finalists.

LB Michael Mauti (Butkus): He certainly doesn't look like a player coming off a torn ACL -- he looks more and look like he's on his way to some finalist lists. Mauti won the conference's player-of-the-week honors for a 12-tackle performance, and he's earning a reputation as Penn State's most-feared linebacker, even ahead of his more-heralded teammate. So far this season, he's broken up a pair of passes, forced and recovered a fumble and has two tackles-for-losses that pushed the offense back 26 yards. Awards committees won't be able to ignore this linebacker if he can keep this pace up.

LB Gerald Hodges (Bednarik, Butkus, Lombardi, Nagurski): It was another solid game for Hodges, but it's difficult to earn awards when another linebacker on the team is playing better. Hodges grabbed a critical interception against Navy, but his numbers might turn off some committees. He has just six solo tackles this season; eight of his teammates have more. Hodges' worth to his team is certainly greater than that, but committees won't choose him over Mauti.

DT Jordan Hill (Lombardi, Outland): The senior has done a lot better since a quiet Week 1, but he still doesn't look like a favorite for any finalist lists. He's tied for 11th on the team with 10 tackles and has yet to bring down a ballcarrier behind the line of scrimmage. He recovered a fumble Saturday, so his stock hasn't exactly crashed. But his penetration up the middle will have to result in more tackles, deflections or sacks for him to make a move on those lists.

C Matt Stankiewitch (Rimington): Historically, this trophy goes to the best center on one of the best rushing offenses. If that remains the case, Stankiewitch is in trouble -- even though he's anchored an entirely new offensive line and has played well in the young season. Penn State is ranked No. 102 nationally in rushing offense, and the team will have to improve for Stankiewitch to get noticed.