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Kirk Herbstreit’s Penn State Honeymoon Continues With 2019 Herbie Awards

College GameDay personality and closet Penn State fan Kirk Herbstreit hosted his annual “Herbie” award show Friday night in which he picked his favorite players, teams, and places that college football has to offer.

Unsurprisingly, Herbstreit didn’t shy away from sending some love Penn State’s way throughout this year’s program.

Wide receiver KJ Hamler was nominated for “Most Exciting Player,” and it’s easy to see why. The speedy wideout led the Nittany Lions with 42 receptions and 754 yards in 2018. He also hauled in five touchdowns through the air and scored a 32-yard touchdown on the ground against Pitt. Hamler’s ability to contribute on special teams made him a versatile weapon for James Franklin’s program and allowed him to flourish in his first season with the Nittany Lions.

Despite his impressive debut season, Hamler lost the Herbie to Purdue wide receiver Rondale Moore, who’s certainly deserving of the accolade. Moore hauled in 114 passes for 1,258 yards and 12 touchdowns and received the 2018 Paul Hornung Award, which is awarded annually to the most versatile player in college football.

Penn State’s first award of the night came when the White Out won the Herbie for “Best Stadium Atmosphere.” Herbstreit (and the rest of the College GameDay crew, for that matter) has not been shy of his love for the annual Beaver Stadium tradition. In fact, he’s gone as far as to say there’s nothing else like it in all of college football.

Later in the program, Penn State defensive end Jayson Oweh won the Herbie for the player most likely to “Burst onto the Scene.” The young defensive end has already made a name for himself in the college football world, and he’s only getting started. Oweh, who recorded four tackles and two sacks as a true freshman in 2018, is poised to come off the bench for the Nittany Lions this year and contribute greatly alongside Penn State’s stacked defensive front seven.

Penn State also received nominations for a few more awards. The Nittany Lions’ quarterbacks, wide receivers, and running backs earned a nod for “Question Mark THAT ISN’T Actually a Question,” while Beaver Stadium’s student section was nominated for “Best Student Section.”

Despite his affinity for Penn State, Herbstreit left the Nittany Lions out of his yearly predictions this time around. The ESPN analyst predicts Ohio State will win the Big Ten East and defeat Wisconsin to earn yet another conference championship. However, Herbstreit forecasts a College Football Playoff loss to Clemson for the Buckeyes, so I guess we’re even.

Either way, we all know Herbie’s still got Blue and White fever. Hopefully, we’ll see him and the rest of the crew back in Happy Valley for College GameDay sometime this year.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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