Busy news day for Penn State.
The school just announced DT Austin Johnson has accepted an invite to the Senior Bowl. He’ll join DE Carl Nassib and safety Jordan Lucas, the two other Nittany Lions who have accepted invites for the prestigious all-star game.
Here’s all you need to know:
Johnson Accepts Invitation to Reese’s Senior Bowl
Johnson will join Lucas and Nassib in the Senior Bowl on Jan. 30
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; Jan. 7, 2015 – Defensive tackle Austin Johnson (Galloway, N.J.) accepted his invitation to play in the 67th Reese’s Senior Bowl. He joins teammates Jordan Lucas (New Rochelle, N.Y.) and All-American Carl Nassib (West Chester, Pa.) as participants in the game. The trio will participate in the nation’s premier all-star contest on Saturday, January 30, 2015. Kickoff is at 2:30 p.m. ET at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. The NFL Network will televise the contest.
With Johnson’s selection, the Nittany Lions have had 42 participants in the Senior Bowl in the last 20 years. A quartet of Nittany Lions – safety Adrian Amos, defensive end Deion Barnes, offensive tackle Donovan Smith and linebacker Mike Hull – participated in last year’s Senior Bowl activities. Defensive tackle DaQuan Jones and defensive tackle Jordan Hill played in the 2014 and 2013 Senior Bowls, respectively. Defensive end Jack Crawford, cornerback D’Anton Lynn and guard Johnnie Troutman played in the 2012 Senior Bowl.
With the selection of Johnson, Lucas and Nassib, a total of 115 Lions have been invited to play in the Senior Bowl.
The native of Galloway, New Jersey recently declared for the 2016 NFL Draft after earning All-Big Ten second team honors from the media and third team honors from the coaches this season. He also collected All-Big Ten first team accolades from BTN.com and ESPN.com.
Johnson has been a force up front for the Nittany Lions with 78 tackles, which is third on the team. He also has 6.5 sacks and 15.0 tackles for loss this season. His 78 stops are third among defensive tackles in FBS and the most by a Nittany Lion defensive lineman since Jimmy Kennedy had 87 stops in 2002. Johnson has four outings this season with at least nine tackles. Johnson is also second on the team with 13.0 tackles for loss. He registered his first career touchdown with a 71-yard fumble return. The fumble recovery was the fourth of his career and Penn State’s first fumble recovery for a touchdown since Mike Hull’s 74-yard return vs. Navy in 2012. He tallied a career-high 10 tackles, including eight solo stops, at Northwestern. He also had a sack and two tackles for loss against the Wildcats.
The athletic defensive tackle finishes his Penn State career with 154 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 24.0 TFLs. He also had four fumble recoveries and five pass breakups in his career. He has started every game for the last two seasons.
Penn State season ticket renewals and Nittany Lion Club membership renewals also are underway for the 2016 campaign. The ticket invoice and Nittany Lion Club renewal deadline is Feb. 1, 2016. There will not be any increase in the price of Penn State football season tickets or Nittany Lion Club donation levels for next season. For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing new 2016 season tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit www.PSUnrivaled.com, call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office weekdays from 10 a.m-6 p.m.