Penn State sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg and junior cornerback Jordan Lucas were selected to the Maxwell Award and Bednarik Award Watch Lists, respectively, on Monday.
Penn State is tied for the national lead among all colleges and universities with its seven Maxwell Award winners. The Nittany Lions’ four Bednarik Award recipients are the most of any school in the nation.
The Maxwell Award is presented in honor of Robert W. (Tiny) Maxwell, a legendary college player, official and sports columnist. First bestowed in 1937, the Maxwell Award will be presented for the 78th time to the nation’s college football player of the year.
Hackenberg was selected the 2013 Thompson-Randle El Big Ten Freshman of the Year, becoming the second-straight Nittany Lion to win the award, with defensive end Deion Barnes winning it in 2012. His true freshman season was recognized nationally, as he garnered first-team True Freshman All-America accolades from 247Sports.com. He completed 231 of 392 passes for 2,955 yards, with 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions last season. Hackenberg also ran for four touchdowns and accumulated 2,887 yards of total offense, an average of 240.6 ypg.
The Bednarik Award was established in 1995 and is presented annually in honor of linebacking great Chuck Bednarik, a member of both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame. This season marks the 20th season the award will be bestowed upon the nation’s defensive player.
Lucas will be one of the cornerstones of the Penn State defense this season after he earned honorable mention All-Big Ten after a breakout 2013 campaign. He tied for third in the conference with 16 passes defended. Lucas tied for the team lead with three interceptions and led the Nittany Lions with 13 pass breakups.