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The 2014 BSD Reader Awards Defensive Player Of The Year: Safety Adrian Amos

Well, we didn't see this one coming...

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

This isn't meant to be a slight against the winner of the award, but this is shocking. Not only was this the poll that the most people voted in, the person who won got more votes than some polls go total votes. That's amazing. Honestly, good on the winner, because I didn't see this coming at all.

With that in mind, here was who you, the readers of Black Shoe Diaries, picked as Penn State's 2014 Defensive Player of the Year:

  • Winner: Adrian Amos, Safety (51 percent of the vote)
  • Second Place: Mike Hull, Linebacker (29 percent)
  • Third Place: Anthony Zettel, Defensive Tackle (20 percent)
For one, shout out to Hull and Zettel for being monsters this year. I voted for Mike Hull, because he was the best linebacker in the Big Ten, but Zettel was also otherworldly. So to the two of you, I give you a tip of my cap, because both of you deserved this award.

Coming into the voting, the only way I though Amos would have a chance would be if Hull and Zettel split the vote and enough people noticed that Amos was really, really good this year. That, obviously, did not happen: Amos won this award outright in a landslide, as he received more than half of your votes.

Here's the thing that made Adrian Amos so special this year: I literally don't remember him doing a single thing, outside of the three interceptions he snagged this season. Seriously. Penn State's best defensive player in 2014, according to the readers of this here website, was a guy who didn't do anything notable. Huh?

This is a bad thing basically everywhere on a football field...except for safety. You don't want to say a safety's name, because if you do, it's usually because he didn't do his job and he got beat deep. Sure, every once in a while you get a freak of nature like Seattle's Kam Chancellor, who is a wrecking ball, but for the most part, a safety's job is to make sure nobody gets behind him and clean up any messes that the 10 other defenders on the field make.

Amos did that brilliantly in 2014. He was tied for eighth on the team in tackles with only 42 -- tied with Zettel, actually -- and he had 2.5 tackles for loss. Again, this all shows that he didn't need to do too much, partly because offensive players were never in a position to be tackled by him. However, when he needed to show up, he did, and he was excellent. This was evidenced by his team-high 10 passes defended, and his seven passes broken up, which were second on the team.

No. 4 was also arguably the most versatile player on Penn State's defense. Need a safety who cleans up everyone's mistakes and never gets beaten deep? Amos did that. Need him to slide to the outside or in the slot and shut down an opposing receiver? Amos did that too. Hell, if Bob Shoop asked him to play emergency linebacker, he could do that. I'll never forget someone telling me that I needed to interview Amos during 2013's Media Day because he was a freak of nature. In 2014, Amos proved that person correct.

So congratulations, Adrian Amos. You were the one guy who I didn't expect to win this, which proves that nobody should ever listen to me. Your career in Happy Valley ended with a bang, and all of us here at Black Shoe Diaries think that you will go on to do great things in the NFL. Just not for the Raiders. Never play for the Raiders. You'll never do well (it's not your fault, it's just, you know, the Raiders).