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O'Brien, Barnes Chosen As Conference's Best

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Bill O'Brien and Deion Barnes were both honored on the second night of the Big Ten's yearly awards special.

Rich Barnes-US PRESSWIRE

The Nittany Lions added a couple more pieces of hardware to the trophy case on Tuesday night as Bill O'Brien was honored as the conference's best coach and defensive end Deion Barnes took home the Freshman of the Year trophy.

O'Brien beat out fellow first-year coach Urban Meyer for his award. BOB led Penn State to an 8-4 record in a tough first year that saw players transfer away and postseason hopes dashed even before the season started. The eight wins are the most for any first year coach in the program's history. He beat out Meyer who was just as deserving, leading Ohio State to a 12-0 record in his first year in a similar sanctioned circumstance.

Barnes was named the conference's best newcomer after leading Penn State with six sacks, good for fifth in the Big Ten, and 10 tackles for loss. He also forced three fumbles on the year which was the fourth-best total in the conference. He was also named to the all-Big Ten Freshman team alongside teammate Kyle Carter.

Barnes is the first Nittany Lion to win Freshman of the Year since Curtis Enis in 1995.

Also earning accolades on Tuesday night were Ohio State's Braxton Miller and John Simon who took home Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year awards, respectively.


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