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Penn State Punter Blake Gillikin Named First Team Academic All-American

Blake Gillikin became the 34th player and first punter in Penn State football history to be named a first-team academic All-American on Monday.

Gillikin is the first Nittany Lion to earn academic All-American honors since Tyler Yazujian did it following the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

The junior is majoring in kinesiology at Penn State, and he’s maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA throughout his college career. This isn’t the first award Gillikin has received for his excellence in the classroom — he was named as a Big Ten distinguished scholar this year, and he’s been honored as an academic All-Big Ten player twice.

In addition to his excellence in the classroom, Gillikin is one of the nation’s best punters. He’s averaged 43.1 yards per attempt through his first three seasons as a Nittany Lion, and he’s just one of four players in program history with two punts longer than 70 yards. He launched a 74-yard punt against Michigan earlier this season and followed that effort up with a 70-yarder against Rutgers two weeks later.

You can always count on the Smyrna, GA native to pin opposing offenses deep in their own territory — 36 of his punts have been downed inside the 10-yard line throughout his career, including 11 this season. Gillikin won a Big Ten championship as a freshman and followed that up with a Fiesta Bowl victory in 2017.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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