Kerry Collins, Trace McSorley to be honored at the NFF Awards Dinner
Penn State will have a pair of standouts honored at the 61st National Football Foundation (NFF) Annual Awards Dinner in New York City Tuesday evening. National award winner and first-team All-America quarterback Kerry Collins will be inducted to the Hall of Fame, while All-Big Ten quarterback Trace McSorley will be honored as an NFF Scholar-Athlete and Campbell Trophy finalist. Penn State is the only school to have two honorees at the event.
The event, which will take place at the New York Hilton Midtown, will be live streamed on ESPN3, starting at 8:30 p.m.
Collins is the 26th member (20 players, 6 coaches) of the Penn State football family to be elected to the College Hall of Fame. Linebacker Shane Conlan was the most recent player inductee in 2014, while former Nittany Lion player Bill Bowes was enshrined into the Hall of Fame as the University of New Hampshire head coach in 2016.
McSorley is the 18th Nittany Lion to be selected as an NFF Scholar-Athlete, joining Dave Joyner (1971), Bruce Bannon (1972), Mark Markovich (1973), Jack Baiorunos (1974), Chuck Correal (1978), John Walsh (1980), Carmen Masciantonio (1984), Lance Hamilton (1985), Brian Siverling (1986), Matt Johnson (1987), Tony Pittman (1994), Jeff Hartings (1995), Wally Richardson (1996), Aaron Collins (1997), Paul Posluszny (2006), Stefen Wisniewski (2010) and John Urschel (2013). Urschel won the Campbell Trophy in 2013. The 18 selections for the Nittany Lions are tied for third all-time with Notre Dame.
Collins helped Penn State post a 40-9 record from 1991-94 and was instrumental in the Nittany Lions earning a 22-2 overall mark (14-2 conference) during their first two years in the Big Ten Conference, posting records of 10-2 in 1993 and 12-0 in 1994. The recipient of the 1994 Maxwell Award as the National Player of the Year, he helped coach Joe Paterno’s squad win three New Year’s Day bowl games: the 1992 Fiesta, 1994 Citrus and 1995 Rose Bowls.
A native of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, Collins started every game in leading Penn State to the 1994 Big Ten Championship in its second year in the conference. The Nittany Lions defeated Oregon, 38-20, in the 1995 Rose Bowl to become the first Big Ten team to post a 12-0 record, earning the No. 2 final ranking by AP, UPI and USA Today/CNN. Penn State was ranked No. 1 by the New York Times and in the Sagarin computer rankings at the end of the 1994 season.
A consensus first-team All-American, Collins directed one of most prolific and balanced offenses in NCAA and Big Ten history in 1994. The Nittany Lions led the nation in scoring (47.8 ppg) and total offense (520.2 ypg) and also led the Big Ten in rushing (250.9; 6th nationally) and passing offense (269.3 ypg; 12th nationally). The 1994 offense broke 14 school season records and seven Big Ten season marks for: points scored (526), touchdowns (71), points per game for all games (47.8 ppg), points per game for conference games (48.1 ppg), total offense (5,722 yards), total offense per game (520.2 ypg) and yards gained per play (7.64 ypp). All seven also were Penn State season records (bowl game statistics did not count in season stats). Penn State’s 48.1 ppg during its 8-0 conference slate in 1994 remains a Big Ten record.
Recipient of the 1994 Chicago Tribune-Big Ten Silver Football (Big Ten MVP), Collins was 176-of-274 (66.7) for 2,679 yards, with 21 touchdown passes and seven interceptions during his senior season (regular season games). During his career, Collins broke Penn State season records for completions (176), passing yardage (2,679), completion percentage (66.7, 176-of-264), pass efficiency (172.86), yards per pass attempt (10.15 ypa), touchdown passes in consecutive games (all 11 regular season games), consecutive passes completed (14 at Minnesota en route to 19-of-23, 260 yds., 3 TD), 200-yard passing games (9 of 11) and total offense (2,660). He still holds the season records for completion percentage, yards per attempt and pass effieciency.
McSorley owns the Penn State career records for: wins (31), passing yards (9,653), passing touchdowns (75), pass completions (703), total offense (11,275), rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (29), touchdowns responsible for (104), 300-yard passing games (10) and 200-yard passing games (27). He is also the school season recordholder for: passing yards (3,614; 2016), completions (284; 2017), passing touchdowns (29; 2016).
, rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (11; 2017), total offense (4,061; 2017), touchdowns responsible for (37; 2017), 300-yard passing games (5; 2016, 2017) and is tied for the top spot in 200-yard passing games (11; 2016, 2017). McSorley threw at least one touchdown pass in 34-straight games, from the 2016 TaxSlayer Bowl until the Indiana game in 2018, a Penn State record and the fifth-longest in FBS Power Five history. In the win over Indiana in 2018, McSorley became the first Penn State player and 11th in Big Ten history to eclipse the 10,000-yard mark in total offense. He also ranks third in Big Ten history with 104 touchdowns responsible for behind only Ohio State’s JT Barrett (147; 2014-17) and Purdue’s Drew Brees (106; 1997-00).
The Ashburn, Virginia native collected All-Big Ten second team selection from the coaches and media for the third-straight season. He is the first Penn State quarterback to earn All-Big Ten honors in three consecutive seasons. McSorley has thrown for 2,284 yards and rushed for 723 yards this season, joining Michael Robinson (2005; 2,350 passing, 806 rushing) as the only PSU quarterbacks with 2,000 passing and 700 rushing yards in the same season. McSorley is one of five players in FBS this season to have 2,000 passing yards and 700 rushing yards, joining Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray, Virginia’s Bryce Perkins, Ohio University’s Nathan Rourke and Syracuse’s Eric Dungy.
Against Ohio State in September, McSorley established a Nittany Lion record with 461 total yards against Ohio State (9/29/18), including 286 passing and 175 rushing. McSorley ranks No. 4 in the Big Ten and No. 26 in the FBS in passing yards per completion (13.34). He is also No. 5 in the Big Ten and No. 53 in the nation with 12 passing touchdowns. McSorley is also among the conference’s top rushers, ranking No. 8 in the Big Ten, and first among quarterbacks, with 617 rushing yards, while leading the conference with nine rushing touchdowns, which is 16th in the FBS. McSorley is No. 4 in the Big Ten and No. 25 in FBS with 280.6 total yards per game, as well as No. 2 in the conference and No. 18 nationally with 15.8 points responsible for per game.
McSorley graduated in May 2018 with a degree in accounting and is working on a second degree in journalism. A three-time Academic All-Big Ten Conference selection is McSorley.