More promising preseason player news for 2014: QB Christian Hackenberg and CB Jordan Lucas were named to the 2014 Maxwell and Bednarik Award Watchlists today.
The Maxwell Award is given annually to the nation’s college football player of the year, and Penn State is tied for the all-time lead with seven wins; the Bednarik Award is given to the best defensive player of the year and Penn State leads the country with four all-time wins. Both of this year’s lists include just about all of the big names throughout the country.
This is the second preseason plaudit for the rising sophomore Hackenberg, who was selected as the Big Ten’s best preseason passer by Sporting News last week. He’s coming off a freshman campaign that culminated in the 2013 Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year award, 2,955 passing yards, and 20 touchdowns. Along the way, he broke just about every Penn State freshman passing record.
The rising junior Lucas was an all-Big Ten Honorable Mention last season after tying for third in the Big Ten with 16 pass deflections, and tying for the Penn State lead in picks with three. He was a key cog in the Lion secondary, ending the year third on the team with 64 tackles.
Penn State last won the Maxwell Award when Larry Johnson brought it home in 2002, and it last won the Bednarik Award in 2007 by way of Dan Connor. Congrats on the recognition to the pair of players!