Ahh, the preseason award watch lists. A sure sign that one, we are still too far from the start of football season, and two, we will discuss literally anything to do with football. Over the next couple of weeks, most of the major college football awards will announce their watch lists.
Earlier today, Deion Barnes was named to the watch list for the Bednarik Award for the 2013 season. The Chuck Bednarik Award has gone to the top defensive player in college football since 1995, and includes 3 Nittany Lions amongst its honorees (LaVar Arrington in 1999, Paul Posluszny in 2005 and 2006, Dan Connor in 2007). Barnes burst onto the scene as a redshirt freshman in 2012 with 6 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and a total of 10 tackles for loss.
Zach Zwinak was named to the Maxwell Award watch list, which goes to the nation’s top player. After carrying the ball just 3 times in Penn State’s first 3 games last season, Zwinak emerged as the Lions’ top back, ending the season with 1,000 yards and 6 touchdowns. He enters 2013 as the starter at a deep and talented tailback position. Penn State players have won 7 Maxwell Awards (Rich Lucas in 1959, Glenn Ressler in 1964, Mike Reid in 1969, John Cappelletti in 1973, Chuck Fusina in 1978, Kerry Collins in 1994 and Larry Johnson in 2002), tying with Notre Dame for the most in history.
It is a mild surprise that wide receiver Allen Robinson, the Lions’ top offensive weapon in 2012 was not included. Players are added and removed from these lists several times throughout the season. In fact, 2 of the last 3 Heisman Trophy winners did not appear on any preseason watch lists, so it would not be a surprise to see Robinson show up this fall with another strong start to the season.
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