By Danielle Daniels
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State junior offensive lineman Olumuyiwa Fashanu was selected to the Outland Trophy watch list on Tuesday, while sophomore linebacker Abdul Carter, junior cornerback Kalen King and junior Chop Robinson were named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list.
The Outland Trophy is given to the best interior lineman, offensive or defensive, in college football.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy, presented by the Charlotte Touchdown Club, recognizes the best defensive player in college football.
Penn State is tied for the most representatives from one school on the Nagurski Trophy watch list. Penn State’s three selections are tied with Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Michigan, and Ohio State.
Olumuyiwa Fashanu · Jr. · OL · 6-6 · 319 · Waldorf, Md. · Gonzaga College HS
- Voted a team captain for 2023.
- Named a Walter Camp second-team All-American in 2022 and recognized as a third-team All-American by Phil Steele.
- Earned second-team All-Big Ten honors from the coaches and third-team by the media.
- Collected the team’s Dick Maginnis Memorial Award for most outstanding offensive lineman.
- According to Coaches by the Numbers, allowed zero sacks and only 10 pressures on 281 pass blocking snaps last season.
- Two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection as a supply chain and information systems major.
- Helped Penn State to top the 400-total yard mark in five of his starts in 2022, including 477 at Auburn and 482 against Ohio State.
- With Fashanu paving the way, Penn State posted 234 rushing yards against Ohio, 245 rushing yards at Auburn and 220 rushing yards against Northwestern. The Nittany Lions rushed for five touchdowns at Auburn.
- Penn State threw for over 300 yards in four of Fashanu’s eight starts, including 308 at Purdue, 338 against Ohio, 304 against Minnesota and 371 against Ohio State.
- Helped Nicholas Singleton (1,061) and Kaytron Allen (867) become the first freshmen teammates in Big Ten history each with 700+ rushing yards in a season.
Abdul Carter · So. · LB · 6-3 · 250 · Philadelphia, Pa. · La Salle College HS
- Also named to Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list.
- Appeared in 13 games, making six starts, in 2022.
- Earned All-Big Ten second team honors from the media and third team honors from the coaches.
- Claimed a spot on the ESPN.com, Pro Football Focus, On3 and 247Sports’ True Freshman All-American Teams.
- Tabbed an FWAA and College Football News Freshman All-American.
- Was a finalist for the Maxwell Football Club’s Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year Award.
- Tallied 56 tackles with 10.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks.
- Is one of two Penn State freshmen to record 10+ tackles for loss and 6+ sacks in a season, joining Defensive Ends Coach Deion Barnes.
- Is one of eight linebackers (10 occasions) to post 10+ tackles for loss and 6+ sacks in a season at Penn State and the first since Dan Connor (15 TFL, 6.5 sacks in 2007).
- Finished fourth in the Big Ten in sacks (6.5), tied sixth in forced fumbles (2) and tied 11th in tackles for loss.
- Led Big Ten freshmen in sacks, tackles for loss and forced fumbles (2).
- Among FBS freshmen, was third in tackles for loss and tied for third in sacks.
- Tied for team lead with six tackles at Auburn, while adding a forced fumble and a sack.
- Led team with seven tackles against Maryland, adding a sack, a forced fumble, a pass breakup and two quarterback hurries.
- Set career highs in tackles for loss (3) and sacks (2) against Michigan State.
Kalen King · Jr. · CB · 5-11 · 191 · Detroit, Mich. · Cass Tech
- Also named to Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list.
- Has appeared in 26 career games, making 14 starts.
- Was a second-team Al-American selection by the Walter Camp Football Foundation in 2022.
- Selected third-team All-America by Pro Football Focus and honorable mention All-America by Phil Steele.
- Earned third-team All-Big Ten honors from the coaches and media.
- Garnered the team’s Keystone Award, sharing with linebacker Abdul Carter and center Juice Scruggs.
- Collected 30 tackles, three tackles for loss, 18 pass breakups, three interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 2022.
- Led the Big Ten in passes defended (21) and pass breakups (18), finishing third in the nation in both.
- Tied for eighth in the Big Ten in interceptions (3).
- Helped Penn State to a nation-best 85 pass breakups.
- Held opponents to a 40% completion percentage (23-of-57) and a 26.2 passer rating when targeted.
- Earned the coaching staff’s Defensive Player of the Week awards following the Central Michigan and Michigan State games.
- Registered four pass breakups and forced and recovered a fumble against Central Michigan (9/24/22).
- Tallied three pass breakups against Northwestern (10/1/22).
- Secured first career interception in the third quarter at Indiana (11/5/22).
- Broke up two passes against Maryland (11/12/22).
- Set a career high with five pass breakups, and recorded an interception, against Michigan State (11/26/22).
- Recorded an interception in the Rose Bowl Game against Utah (1/2/23).
Chop Robinson · Jr. · DE · 6-3 · 250 · Gaithersburg, Md. · Quince Orchard
- Has appeared in 25 games, making one start.
- Selected honorable mention All-Big Ten by the coaches and media in 2022.
- Named Pro Football Focus All-Big Ten second team.
- Earned the team’s Reid Robinson Outstanding Defensive Lineman Award, sharing with Adisa Isaac.
- According to Pro Football Focus, was the highest-rated edge rusher in the nation in 2022.
- Posted 26 tackles, including 10 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks, two pass breakups, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and three quarterback hurries.
- Named the coaching staff’s Defensive Player of the Week following the Ohio, Maryland and Utah games.
- Finished tied for seventh in the Big Ten in sacks (5.5) and tied for 15th in tackles for loss (10).
- Recorded a solo sack, forcing a fumble on the sack, and recovered a fumble at Auburn (9/17/22).
- Tipped a pass at the line of scrimmage which was picked off and returned 47 yards for a touchdown by Curtis Jacobs at Michigan (10/15/22). Added five tackles and a tackle for loss.
- Picked up two tackles for loss and a sack at Indiana (11/5/22).
- Tallied three tackles, including a career-high two sacks, against Maryland (11/12/22).
- Posted 1.5 sacks in the Rose Bowl Game against Utah (1/2/23).
The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the 2023 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 15 and the winner will be unveiled Dec. 4 at the Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet in Charlotte, N.C.
The five finalists for the Nagurski Trophy and three finalists for the Outland Trophy will be named in November. Both winners will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy, given annually since 1993, is named in honor of the legendary two-way player from the University of Minnesota. Nagurski played for the Chicago Bears after his college career. Bronislaw “Bronko” Nagurski is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame and Pro Hall of Fame.
The recipient of the 2023 Outland Trophy will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards, live on ESPN in December. The official presentation to the winner will be made at the Outland Trophy Awards Dinner sponsored by Werner Enterprises and produced by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee in Omaha, Neb., on Jan. 10, 2024.
The three finalists for the Outland Trophy will be named in November.
The Outland Trophy, created in 1946, is named in honor of Dr. John Outland, an All-American at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1890s.
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