UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) — Los Angeles is the city of bright lights and stars and one of the stars of Penn State’s standout defense has been a freshman, linebacker Abdul Carter.

Carter was named an All-Big Ten third team linebacker by the coaches and the second team by the media.

Carter’s 55 tackles rank him second on the team, he leads all Big Ten freshmen in that category. He is also tied for third in the conference with 6.5 sacks and leads the Nittany Lions in tackles for loss at 10.5 and sacks at 6.5.

This time last year, Manny Diaz was hired as the defensive coordinator, and while his first impressions of Carter was explosiveness, Diaz has high hopes for the freshman.

“The biggest thing I’m just proud of the way that he developed through the course of the year,” said Diaz, in a press conference on Friday. “I mean, certainly he made some flash plays early on, like at Auburn. But but the difference between flashing and being a real guy down after down. And I think really the second half of the season, you know, I thought he got better and better, helped us as a defense get better and better. The trick now is that, you know, obsession with improvement can’t stop because he played well for a freshman for four, and that’s now next year playing well for a freshman will not be enough.”

No. 11 Penn State will play no. 8 Utah in the Rose Bowl on January 2, 2023 at 5:00 PM.