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Micah Parsons, Lamont Wade Land On 2020 Preseason Award Watch Lists

Penn State football’s Lamont Wade and Micah Parsons received nominations to a few 2020 award watch lists Monday.

Wade was one of the 50 players named to the Jim Thorpe Award watch list. The award is annually presented to the best defensive back in college football.

Parsons, on the other hand, was one of the 51 linebackers named to the Butkus Award watch list. Each year, the honor is awarded to the best linebacker in college football.

Wade totaled 67 tackles, five pass deflections, and three forced fumbles last season and was named second-team All-Big Ten by Pro Football Focus. With Garrett Taylor’s departure, Wade will be the presumptive leader in the safety room heading into the 2020 season.

He is one of the four Big Ten defensive backs to appear on the list, joining Ohio State’s Shaun Wade, Michigan’s Ambry Thomas, and Wisconsin’s Eric Burrell. No Nittany Lion has ever taken home the prestigious honor. If Wade were to win, he would become the eighth Big Ten player to ever do so.

Parsons was previously named to two watch lists for the Bednarik Award and the Lott IMPACT Trophy earlier this summer. Additionally, he was named a preseason first-team All-American by sports analyst Phil Steele. He also received Steele’s preseason Defensive Player of the Year honor.

If that wasn’t enough, Parsons was also selected to Pro Football Focus’ “Top Returning Players In College Football” team for the 2020 season.

He is one of the nine Big Ten linebackers to appear on the list. Two Nittany Lions, Paul Posluszny (2005) and LaVar Arrington (1999), have previously received the award. Parsons would be the first Big Ten player to win the award since Ohio State’s James Laurinaitis in 2007.

Parsons and Wade are two of the latest Penn State football players to be named to preseason award watch lists this summer. Pat Freiermuth was listed on watch lists for the Mackey Award and the Biletnikoff Award. Sean Clifford was named to the Davey O’Brien Award watch list, while Noah Cain and Journey Brown were listed on the Doak Walker Award watch list.

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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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