Penn State football head coach James Franklin announced that senior Jason Cabinda and juniors Trace McSorley and Nick Scott have been voted as team captains for the 2017 season by their teammates.
“These three young men have been leaders in our program, on and off the field,” Franklin said in a news release. “They live our four core values and act with the program’s best interest in mind. Our team is in good hands with these guys.”
Cabinda garnered third-team All-Big Ten accolades from the conference coaches, despite missing five games due to injury. He posted eight tackles or more in all nine games he played in last season and has logged eight or more tackles in 11 of his last 13 games, dating back to 2015. Cabinda finished third on the squad with 81 tackles in 2016, after posting 100 stops in his sophomore season. He had 13 tackles in the upset win over No. 2 Ohio State, including the game-clinching takedown of Buckeye quarterback J.T. Barrett on 4th-and-23 on OSU’s final drive. For his career, Cabinda has 198 tackles, eight pass breakups, 3.5 sacks and 10.0 tackles for loss.
McSorley earned the Grange-Griffin Most Valuable Player award as MVP of the Big Ten Championship game after throwing for a Big Ten Championship game-record 384 yards and four touchdowns. He was also a second-team All-Big Ten choice by the conference’s coaches and media, while also being named the Big Ten’s Breakout Player of the Year by Athlon Sports and the Maxwell Football Club’s Bryan Westbrook Tri-State Player of the Year. McSorley turned in one of the top quarterback campaigns in program history, breaking the Penn State season record for passing yards (3,614), passing touchdowns (29) and total offense records (3,979). McSorley threw TD passes to 10 different receivers, marking the first time since 1971 a Penn State quarterback found 10-plus pass catchers for scores.
Scott has embraced his role as a leader on the special teams. He appeared in 13 games last season and finished second on the squad with eight special teams tackles. Scott had a career-high three special teams tackles against Maryland in October. He also made special teams stops against Kent State, Pitt, Michigan State, Wisconsin and USC. 2016, Scott also returned six kickoffs for 138 yards (23.0 ypr).
The Nittany Lions have opened spring practice, which culminates in the Blue-White game on Saturday, April 22 at 3 p.m. Admission is free. Penn State opens the 2017 campaign against Akron at Beaver Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 2.