With no football until late August, what has been dubbed “watch list season” continues.
A quartet of Penn State football players were named to various preseason lists for honors awarded after the 2016 season.
Sophomore running back Saquon Barkley and junior wide receiver Chris Godwin were named as candidates for the Maxwell Award for the National Player of the Year. Junior linebacker Jason Cabinda is a nominee for the Bednarik Award for the National Defensive Player of the Year, and junior tight end Mike Gesicki was named to the Mackey Award watch list, given to the best tight end in college football.
Barkley turned heads last season as a true freshman with 1,076 rushing yards despite missing 2 1/2 games to injury and taking only one snap in Penn State’s season opener. He was named All-Big Ten second team, Freshman All-America by Football Writers Association of America, Sporting News and USA Today, ECAC Rookie of the Year and Big Ten Freshman of the Year by the Big Ten Network.
Godwin caught 69 passes for 1,101 yards and five touchdowns as Penn State’s top receiver in 2015 and just the third receiver in program history to pass 1,000 yards in a season. He was named All-Big Ten second team by the media and third-team all-conference by the media.
Gesicki caught 13 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown last season.