Penn State offensive lineman Ryan Bates and punter Blake Gillikin were recognized for their impressive inaugural campaigns.
Bates, a redshirt freshman, was named to USA Today’s Freshman All-America team, while Gillikin made ESPN’s True Freshman All-America list, both of which were announced Monday.
Bates played guard and tackle this season, excelling at both positions. The Warrington native is one of two Big Ten players recognized, joining Ohio State running back Mike Weber.
Meanwhile, Gillikin, who averaged 42.1 yards per punt, is one of three Big Ten representatives on ESPN list (Ohio State’s Nick Bosa, Michigan’s Ben Bredeson).
Bates, Gillikin and the No. 5 Nittany Lions face No. 9 Southern California in the Rose Bowl at 5 p.m. on Jan. 2.