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Barkley, Godwin, And Cabinda Garner Preseason Watch List Nods

The season may still be two months away but a trio of Nittany Lions earned high praise Tuesday.

Junior linebacker Jason Cabinda landed on the Bednarik Award watch list, which recognizes the top defensive player in college football. Carl Nassib, who was selected in the third round by the Cleveland Browns, was named a finalist for the award last year before Temple’s Tyler Matakevich secured the honor. All-time “Linebacker U” greats LaVar Arrington (1999), Paul Posluszny (2005-2006), and Dan Connor (2007) have each brought the Bednarik home to Happy Valley.

Sophomore Saquon Barkley and junior Chris Godwin, two of the Big Ten’s best returning talents on the offensive side of the ball, were both listed on the prestigious Maxwell Award preseason watch list for the nation’s most outstanding football player. Nittany Lions Richie Lucas (1959), Glenn Ressler (1964), Mike Reid (1969), John Cappeletti (1973), Chuck Fusina (1978), Kerry Collins (1994), and Larry Johnson (2002) have all lifted the famous Maxwell trophy,

Cabinda led the defense as a true sophomore with 100 tackles in 2015. Combined with Brandon Bell and the return of Nyeem Wartman-White, Penn State’s starting trio of linebackers is as experienced as they come in the Big Ten.

Barkley and Godwin were inarguably the most explosive players for Penn State’s often lackluster offense last fall, racking up spectacular highlight-reel plays each weekend. With new offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead running the show, expect heavy doses of Barkley and Godwin to set the pace for a spread attack that should invigorate even the most pessimistic fan. Each eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark this past season and bigger goals are on the horizon for these terrific talents come Sept. 3.

Congratulations, Jason, Saquon, and Chris!

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About the Author

Ethan Kasales

Ethan’s a senior journalism major who grew up in Lemont, a few minutes from campus. When he’s not covering Penn State sports, you can usually find him golfing or teaching snowboarding at Tussey Mountain. Feel free to email him at [email protected]

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