Sporting News has named rising junior tight end Jesse James to its Preseason All-Big Ten Team ahead of James Franklin’s first season.
James enters the 2014 season as Penn State’s returning leader in receptions and receiving yards following Allen Robinson’s departure to the NFL. Last season, the 6-foot-7, 254-pound end made 25 catches for 333 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 13.3 yards per reception. James has come up with memorable touchdown catches in the Nittany Lions’ last two season finales with Wisconsin, opening up the door for late Penn State wins.
James wasn’t the only Lion to receive preseason recognition. Christian Hackenberg was also named the Big Ten’s best passer by Sporting News as he enters his sophomore season. Hackenberg ended last season going 231/392 for 2,955 yards, with 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He was selected as a first-team true freshman All-American and was also named the 2013 Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year.
Hopefully, Hackenberg and James can live up to their preseason titles this season, as both will be pivotal to Penn State’s success again this year.