In just one year, Penn State defensive end Deion Barnes established himself as the workhorse and leader of the Nittany Lion defensive line. Today, he was recognized for that hard work as the Football Writers Association of America named him a 2012 Freshman All-American.
Barnes becomes the first Nittany Lion freshman to be honored by the organization since 2004 when linebacker Dan Connor was selected to the team. The Big Ten landed three other players on the team in addition to Barnes: Michigan TE Devin Funchness, Michigan State OL Jack Allen and Iowa OL Austin Blythe.
In 2012, Barnes led the Lions with 10 tackles for loss and six sacks while also tying for the team lead in forced fumbles with Michael Mauti with three. Along with this honor, Barnes was named to the CBS Sports, Sporting News and Fox Sports Freshman All-American teams as well. He was also named Big Ten Freshman of the Year by the Big Ten, the Big Ten Network and ESPN.
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