Maxwell and Bednarik Watch Lists Selections
UNIVERSITY PARK — Senior quarterback Trace McSorley (Ashburn, Va.) was named to the preseason watch lists for the Maxwell Award for the National Player of the Year and junior defensive end Shareef Miller (Philadelphia, Pa.) earned a spot on the preseason Bednarik Award watch list for the National Defensive Player of the Year, which were revealed Monday.
Penn State is tied for the national lead among all colleges and universities with its seven Maxwell Award winners. The Nittany Lions’ four Bednarik Award recipients are the most of any school in the nation.
The Maxwell Award, named in honor of Robert W. “Tiny” Maxwell, has been given to America’s College Player of the Year since 1937. Maxwell’s contributions to the game of football were extensive, including time as a player, a sportswriter and an official.
The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995. Chuck Bednarik, former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame’s Class of ’69 and the NFL Hall of Fame’s Class of ’67.
McSorley, who is a two-time captain, enters his final season in the Blue & White having thrown a touchdown pass in 28-straight games, the longest active streak in FBS. He holds the Penn State career records for completion percentage (61.8), passing efficiency (152.9), passing touchdowns (59) and total offense (8,268). He also owns the Penn State season marks for passing yards (3,614; 2016), completions (284; 2017), passing touchdowns (29; 2016), total offense (4,061; 2017), 300-yard passing games (5; 2016 and 2017), 200-yard passing games (11; 2016 and 2017) and touchdowns responsible for (37; 2017). In 2017, McSorley became just the second player in Big Ten history to have 25 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing scores in the same season, joining Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett (2014 and 2017). He is also one of seven players in Big Ten history to record back-to-back 3,000-yard passing seasons. Last season, McSorley earned his second consecutive berth on the All-Big Ten second team as selected by the coaches and media. McSorley was a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and Manning Award in 2017.
Miller collected third-team All-Big Ten honors from the media and honorable mention accolades from the league’s coaches in 2017. A member of the midseason Bednarik Award watch list in 2017, he led the team with 5.0 sacks and 11.0 tackles for loss. Miller earned a spot on the Pro Football Focus (PFF) Big Ten Team of the Week after registering a pair of tackles and two quarterback hurries against Michigan (10/21). He was also selected to the PFF Big Ten Team of the Week following his two TFL effort against Nebraska (11/18). Miller was ninth on the team with 37 tackles a year ago. He also recorded nine quarterback hurries, a fumble recovery and a safety in 2017.
The Nittany Lions’ home schedule features five Big Ten Conference games, including visits from 2017 Big Ten Championship Game participants Ohio State and Wisconsin. The Nittany Lions open the season against Appalachian State (Sept. 1; 3:30 p.m.) and Kent State (Sept. 15; noon) in non-conference action. In Big Ten play, Penn State welcomes Ohio State (Sept. 29), Michigan State (Oct. 13; 3:30/4 p.m.), Iowa (Oct. 27), Wisconsin (Nov. 10) and Maryland (Nov. 24) to Happy Valley.
More than 6,300 new season tickets have been sold for the 2018 season presented by PSECU. The public single game sale takes place beginning June 26. For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit www.NittanyLionClub.com, call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office weekdays from 10 a.m-6 p.m.