Penn State sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg and junior cornerback Jordan Lucas were selected to the Maxwell Award and Bednarik Award Watch Lists, respectively, presented by the Maxwell Football Club.
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 is presented in honor of Robert W. (Tiny) Maxwell, a legendary college player, official and sports columnist. First bestowed in 1937, the Maxwell Award will be presented for the 78th time to the nation's college football player of the year.
The Bednarik Award was established in 1995 and is presented annually in honor of linebacking great Chuck Bednarik, a member of both the College Football and NFL Halls of Fame. This season marks the 20th season the award will be bestowed upon the nation's defensive player of the year.
Hackenberg was selected the 2013 Thompson-Randle El Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Year, becoming the second-straight Nittany Lion to win the award, with defensive end Deion Barnes doing so in 2012. He also garnered first-team True Freshman All-America accolades from 247Sports.com. He completed 231 of 392 passes for 2,955 yards, with 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions last season. Hackenberg also ran for four touchdowns and accumulated 2,887 yards of total offense, an average of 240.6 ypg.
Lucas was honorable mention All-Big Ten after a breakout 2013 campaign. He tied for third in the Big Ten with 16 passes defended (1.33 avg.). Lucas tied for the team lead with three interceptions, all of which came in conference play, and led the Nittany Lions with 13 pass breakups.
The metropolitan New York City product was third on the team with 64 tackles, leading the squad with 45 solo stops. He also recorded 4.5 tackles for loss (minus-20), one sack and forced two fumbles.
Penn State's seven Maxwell Award winners are tied with Notre Dame for most in the history of the award. Rich Lucas was the first Nittany Lion to receive the honor, winning in 1959, followed by Glenn Ressler (1964), Mike Reid (1969), John Cappelletti (1973), Chuck Fusina (1978), Kerry Collins (1994) and Larry Johnson (2002).
Penn State football student-athletes have won the Chuck Bednarik Award a nation's best four times — LaVar Arrington in 1999, Paul Posluszny in 2005 and 2006, and Dan Connor in 2007. Defensive tackle Devon Still was a Bednarik Award finalist in 2011.
Semifinalists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced Nov. 3, while the three finalists for each award will be unveiled Nov. 24, 2014. The winners of the 2013 Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on Dec. 11. The formal presentations of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Revel Casino Hotel Atlantic City on March 6, 2015.