Penn State Football is already well represented on preseason watch lists for individual player awards. As the 2016 season draws closer and more watch lists are released, the number of Nittany Lions getting recognized continues to grow.
The Butkus Award, named after hall-of-fame linebacker Dick Butkus, is presented annually to the nation's top collegiate linebacker. Their watch list features two Nittany Lions: Jason Cabinda and Nyeem Wartman-White.
Jason Cabinda is one of the many rising stars on Penn State's defense. He is already on the radar for the Bednarik Award, which recognizes the country's most outstanding defensive player. The junior linebacker will look to build on his successful 2015 campaign, in which he started all 13 games, ranked 15th in the Big Ten in tackles per game and was named honorable mention All-Big Ten by the media and coaches.
Fellow linebacker Nyeem Wartman-White joins Cabinda on the Butkus Award watch list. The athletic linebacker has been plagued by injuries during his college career. Last year, he suffered a knee injury in Penn State's season opener vs. Temple and was sidelined for the entire 2015 season. He missed his true freshman season in 2012 with a knee injury as well, but luckily was granted a medical redshirt by the NCAA.
When healthy, Wartman-White has been a solid contributor for the Nittany Lions. He ranked 10th on the team in tackles in 2013, and 2nd in 2014.
Regarded by many as "Linebacker-U," it's no surprise to see Penn State well-represented on this watch list.
Wide receiver Chris Godwin added to Penn State's impressive watch list presence by being put on notice for the Biletnikoff Award. Last season, Godwin was a bright spot in a relatively bleak year for Penn State's offense. #12 became the third wide receiver in program history to eclipse the 1,000 yard receiving mark during a single season. The junior wideout will look to continue his upward trajectory and increase his production in 2016.
The Biletnikoff Award annually honors the nation's top collegiate wide receiver. The inaugural Biletnikoff award currently resides in Happy Valley after Bobby Engram took home the trophy in 1994. Since then no Nittany Lion has been able to win the award, despite receiver Allen Robinson being named a semifinalist in 2013.