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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