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Four Penn State Football Players Earn Preseason Honors

Four Penn State football student-athletes — Noah Cain, Journey Brown, Micah Parsons, and Pat Freiermuth — earned preseason honors Wednesday.

Brown and Cain were each named to the 2020 Doak Walker Award preseason watch list. The honor is annually awarded to the best running back in college football.

Parsons and Freiermuth, on the other hand, were named preseason first-team All-Americans by sports analyst Phil Steele. Additionally, Parsons received Steele’s preseason Defensive Player of the Year honor.

Brown rushed for 890 yards and scored 13 touchdowns (12 rushing, one receiving) during the 2019 season. Cain impressed in his own right as a true freshman this past season and rushed for 443 yards and eight touchdowns on 84 attempts.

Larry Johnson is the only Nittany Lion to take home the prestigious running back award. In 2002, when he received the honor, Johnson rushed for 2,087 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Cain and Brown are two of the ten Big Ten running backs to appear on the list. If either were to win the award, it would be the third straight year a Big Ten running back took home the hardware. Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor, who now plays for the Indianapolis Colts, won it the past two seasons. There have been 30 winners of the Doak Walker award, nine of which have come from the Big Ten.

In addition to his latest preseason honor, Parsons has been added to two watch lists for the Bednarik Award and Lott IMPACT Trophy so far this summer. Additionally, he was selected to Pro Football Focus’ “Top Returning Players In College Football” team for the 2020 season.

Freiermuth, meanwhile, caught 43 passes for 507 yards and seven touchdowns in 2019 and heads into the 2020 season as Sean Clifford’s clear-cut top target. Last season, he was named second-team All-Big Ten by the conference’s coaches and media and first-team All-Big Ten by Pro Football Focus.

Both Parsons and Freiermuth appeared on one of Steele’s 2019 postseason All-American teams.

Earlier this week, Sean Clifford was named to the 2020 Davey O’Brien Award watch list. The award is annually presented to the top quarterback in college football.

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a senior majoring in journalism and is suddenly Onward State's managing editor. He grew up in Lindenhurst, New York, and has had the absolute misfortune of rooting for the Jets, Mets, and Knicks. If you want to see his bad sports takes, follow him on Twitter @gabeangieri and direct all hate mail and death threats to [email protected]

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