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JUST IN: Four Penn State football players land on preseason watch lists

Lookout for these four Penn State Nittany Lions this fall.



Penn State football, Abdul Carter, Olu Fashanu, Chop Robinson, Kalen King
Apr 15, 2023; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions linebacker Abdul Carter (11) directs his teammates during the singing of the alma mater following the competition of the Blue White spring game at Beaver Stadium. The Blue team defeated the White team 10-0. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday afternoon, four Penn State football players were named to preseason awards watch lists, the program announced. Olu Fashanu was named to the Outland Trophy watch list, while Abdul Carter, Chop Robinson, and Kalen King were named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list. The announcement comes as the anticipation around the 2023 roster and the start of the season grows, now with 32 days until kickoff.

Penn State football: Fashanu, Carter, King, and Robinson all land on award watch lists

Four of the most prominent Penn State football players have landed on preseason award watch lists for their respective positions and sides of the football, the university announced Tuesday.

Olu Fashanu was named to the Outland Trophy watch list, which is handed out annually to the best offensive or defensive interior lineman in college football. Voted a team captain for 2023, Fashanu allowed no sacks and only seven pressures in eight games last season, according to Pro Football Focus.

Meanwhile, Abdul Carter, Kalen King, and Chop Robinson were all named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list, which goes to the best defensive player in college football. The three selections are tied with Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Michigan, and Ohio State for the most representatives from one school on the Nagurski Trophy watch list.

Along with Fashanu, Kalen King and Chop Robinson are both projected to be potential first round picks in the 2024 NFL Draft. With 455 snaps in 2022 (ranked eighth for defensive players), Robinson posted 10 tackles for loss, the third most on the team. Robinson was second on the team in sacks with 5.5 and added three QB hurries, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery to his stat line last year.

King led all Nittany Lion defenders with 18 pass breakups last season. The third-team All-Big Ten selection was also second on the team in interceptions (3) and ninth in total tackles (30). He was also one of the best cornerbacks in single coverage last season, with 15 recorded pass breakups according to Pro Football Focus.

As a true freshman, Carter quickly became a fan favorite for his speed and aggressiveness that harkened back to other great Penn State linebackers like LaVar Arrington or Micah Parsons. Second on the team in tackles last fall, many expect Carter to be one of the most dominant linebackers in all of college football in 2023.

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Matt is a Co-owner and Editor in Chief of Basic Blues Nation. Launched in 2022, Basic Blues Nation is one of the fastest-growing websites covering all Penn State athletics, with over 3.5 million readers in 2023. Matt is also a credentialed member of the Penn State football beat, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.


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