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NFL Draft: Penn State's Devon Still on Brink of Realizing His Dream

by on April 26, 2012 12:00 PM

Editor's Note: This article and video was provided by the staff of Penn State ComRadio and was originally published on the organization's special draft coverage page. ComRadio will provide draft coverage throughout the weekend from New York. You can follow it on Twitter @NFLDraftShow.

NEW YORK — In recent years, the NFL Draft has become a national television spectacle. A major part of the show has been the draft's "Green Room," the room where top prospects are invited to sit and wait for the announcement of their selection in the draft.

One of the players invited to this year's draft was Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still. Some wondered if he would accept the invitation to the draft. But Still says that there was never a doubt in his mind.

"As soon as I got the invite, there wasn't a decision," Still said. "I accepted."

The 6-foot-5, 303-pound defensive tackle emerged as one of Penn State's best defensive tackles ever and one of the top prospects at the position going into the draft. Despite being one of the nation's best defensive tackles, he still feels honored to be a part of what is happening.

"Growing up, you watch this all the time," he said. "You want to be a part of it, but you're never sure that you can do it."

Through the process, scouts have determined that Still will most likely be a late first- or early second-round pick. They have been impressed with his ability to take on double teams and still get to ball carriers in the run game. They have, however, noted that he needs to improve in some areas, including his ability to anticipate snap counts and his stamina.

No matter where he is selected, Still will simply be thankful for the opportunity.

"It's going to be like a weight off of my shoulders," he said. "I worked so hard this season to provide for my daughter and provide for my family. Just to know that my family is going to have everything they want from now on, it's going to be a great feeling."

When Still sits in Radio City Music Hall on Thursday, he will sit with his family. He was offered 15 tickets for the event; he said he will use all 15 for his family members and that he cannot wait for the moment his name is called.

"I'm going to have a chance to fulfill my dreams," he said. "It doesn't get better than that."

Still won’t be the only Penn State player anxiously watching the draft. Six others were invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in February, including State College native Nate Stupar. But most of them are projected as late-round picks — or undrafted free agents.

Still, however, is the only guy even sniffing the first round.

Still received several accolades for his performance in 2011. He was named both Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year. He was also named an All-American, as well as a consensus First-Team All-Big Ten player.

What made the difference in 2011? Still thinks it was simply a matter of applying himself even more and getting the team to do so along with him.

"I became more dedicated to my craft," Still said. "I put more time in studying tape and bonding with our defense. I think this defense [was] the closest it's ever been since I've been at Penn State. We just gelled well together."

Dan Smith is a junior majoring in Broadcast Journalism and is the Executive Editor of ComRadio. To contact him, email: [email protected]

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The staff of StateCollege.com prepared this article. Reach us at (814) 238-6201.
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