Pair from PSU named Academic All-District

UNIVERSITY PARK – Senior linebacker Brandon Smith (Winfield, Pa.) and sophomore punter Blake Gillikin (Smyrna, Ga.) were named CoSIDA Academic All-District 2 for their accomplishments in the classroom and on the field. Smith collects all-district accolades for the second-straight season.

Smith, who graduated in December 2016 with his degree in kinesiology, owns a 3.81 GPA as he pursues a second degree in health policy and administration. He was named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team and was a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy this season. He is a seven-time Dean’s List honoree, was Academic All-Big Ten in 2016 and posted a perfect 4.0 GPA in the 2017 spring semester. On the field, Smith is sixth on the team with 37 tackles while makes 10 appearances. He made his first start of the season against Rutgers and responded with his second career double-digit tackle performance.

Gillikin has a perfect 4.0 cumulative GPA in the Schreyer Honors College as a kinesiology major. He received the President’s Award for freshmen last year. He ranks tied for second on Penn State’s career punting average chart with a 43.0 career average. His 43.3 average this season is tied for second in program history and ranks 32nd in FBS. Gillikin has been a game-changer for the Nittany Lions, pinning opponents inside their own 10-yard line 22 times in his career, including 15 times this year alone.

The No. 10-ranked Nittany Lions host Nebraska Saturday at 4 p.m. on FS1 for Senior Day presented by the Penn State Alumni Association and the annual Penn State Stripe Out. The game can also be heard on and the Penn State Sports Network (airtime 2:30 p.m.).

Tickets for the home finale of the 2017 Penn State football season presented by PSECU against Nebraska are available. For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing new 2018 season tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit, call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office weekdays from 9 a.m-4:30 p.m. More than 9,000 new season tickets have been sold and the season ticket allotment for 2017 has been exhausted.