football Edit

Penn State's Jaquan Brisker and Jahan Dotson named to award watch lists

The onset of the college football season might still be more than a month away, but preseason watch list season is rolling steadily along for Penn State Nittany Lions football.

The newest preseason honorees are Penn State wide receiver Jahan Dotson and safety Jaquan Brisker.

Dotson was named to the Maxwell Award Watch List, while Brisker earned a spot on the Bednarik Award Watch List heading into the 2021 season.

RELATED: Inside the video call that helped Brisker, Dotson and Castro-Fields decide to return for another season

Penn State Nittany Lions football safety Jaquan Brisker is returning for one final season in 2021.
Penn State Nittany Lions football safety Jaquan Brisker is returning for one final season in 2021.

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The Maxwell Award is annually given to the best player in college football. Seven Nittany Lions have won the award in its history — most recently Larry Johnson back in 2002. Before that, Kerry Collins took home the honor in 1994.

The most recent winner of the award was Alabama wideout DeVonta Smith, who took home the honor in 2020.

The Bednarik Award is presented each season to the best defensive player in college football.

A Nittany Lion has won that award four times since its inception in 1995. No other school has more than two.

Paul Posluszny was responsible for two of those honors, claiming the award in back-to-back seasons in 2005 and 2006. Dan Connor followed in 2000 to give the Nittany Lions three consecutive Bednarik Award winners. LaVar Arrington is also among the winners.

Dotson and Brisker were two sizable brights spots for Penn State fans in what was otherwise a dismal season.

Dotson led all Big Ten wide receivers in receiving yards, with 884 yards in nine games. He also found the end zone eight times, averaging 17 yards per reception.

Brisker was one of the best safeties in the Big Ten last season, with 57 total tackles in nine games — including 33 solo tackles. He also came away with an interception and had five pass breakups.

Brisker and Dotson were both among players who likely could have opted to turn professional following last season, but they decided together — alongside Penn State defensive back Tariq Castro-Fields — to return for one final season in Happy Valley.


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