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December 10, 2012

Hill accepts Senior Bowl invitation

On a Penn State defense overflowing with crucial contributors, one of the unit's most important - senior defensive tackle Jordan Hill - has accepted an invitation to participate in January's 64th annual Senior Bowl.

Hill becomes the 19th Nittany Lion and sixth defensive lineman to play in the past decade alongside notable alums including Anthony Adams, Michael Haynes, Tamba Hali and Jack Crawford. Crawford, of course, most recently participated in the game with Johnnie Troutman and D'Anton Lynn last season.

Hill's participation comes as no surprise following his first-team All-Big Ten selection by both conference coaches and media.

According to defensive line coach Larry Johnson, the big final season for Hill as a Nittany Lion was all according to plan.

"I think when you understand schemes and you understand blocking, just having that one year experience, you play as a young player and I tell guys all the time that it's important from your junior to your senior year to go another notch," Johnson said in a teleconference with media members in November. "You can flatline as a junior and never get better as a senior, and he's gotten better.

"He's stronger, his weight is down from where it was last year, he's in great shape, and all that adds to his ability to play fast, and I think that's the reason why he's having such a great year because he's changed himself, not only physically but he's grown and matured a lot in the football sense of the game."

Hill finished the season with 64 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and 8.5 tackles for a loss on top of his forced fumble, fumble recovery, and seemingly unforgettable interception against Virginia in Penn State's second game of the season.

The game will be played at 4 p.m. on January 26 and will air on the NFL Network, live from Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala.

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