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PSU football Holds Annual Awards Banquet

Courtesy of PSUsports

Hamler named Team MVP, Micah Parsons claims Defensive MVP and Freiermuth wins Offensive MVP


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – All-Big Ten honorees wide receiver KJ Hamler (Pontiac, Mich.), linebacker Micah Parsons (Harrisburg, Pa.) and tight end Pat Freiermuth(Merrimac, Mass.) were among the award winners at State College Quarterback Club’s annual banquet honoring the Penn State football team.


Hamler was selected the Nittany Lions’ Most Valuable Player. Parsons claimed the Most Valuable Defensive Player, while Freiermuth was selected Penn State’s Most Valuable Offensive Player. The banquet ended with Head Coach James Franklin telling senior running back Nick Eury he was on scholarship.


A crowd of nearly 700 filled the main ballroom at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel to honor 16 seniors and the 2019 squad.


In addition to the player awards (see below), former Nittany Lion tight end Kyle Brady was presented the Alumni Athlete Award. He was a first-team All-American for one of the most explosive offenses in college football history, the undefeated 1994 Nittany Lions that scored a school-record 564 points. Following his Penn Stat career, Brady played 13 seasons in the NFL with the Jets, Jaguars and Patriots. Brady and his wife, Kristi, have three children – Kellon, Brooke and Blair.


A complete listing of all the award winners at Sunday’s State College Quarterback Club banquet:


  • Lions’ Pride Outstanding Senior Player Award (greatest career contribution to Penn State Football) – cornerback John Reid, offensive lineman Steven Gonzalez, defensive tackle Robert Windsor
  • Most Valuable Player – wide receiver KJ Hamler
  • Most Valuable Offensive Player – tight end Pat Freiermuth
  • Most Valuable Defensive Player – linebacker Micah Parsons
  • Captain’s Award – punter Blake Gillikin, linebacker Jan Johnson, safety Garrett Taylor, linebacker Cam Brown, tight end Pat Freiermuth, safety Jonathan Sutherland, offensive lineman Michal Menet, quarterback Sean Clifford
  • Ridge Riley Award (senior for “sportsmanship, scholarship, leadership and friendship”) – safety Garrett Taylor, wide receiver Dan Chisena
  • Dick Maginnis Memorial Award (outstanding offensive lineman) – offensive lineman Michal Menet
  • Bob Mitinger Memorial Award (senior who exhibits courage, character and social responsibility) – linebacker Jan Johnson
  • Reid-Robinson Award (outstanding defensive lineman). Named in honor of two of Penn State’s most acclaimed defensive linemen, Dave Robinson and Mike Reid – defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos
  • John Bruno Memorial Award (outstanding member of special teams) – wide receiver Dan Chisena
  • Tim Shaw Thrive Award (awarded to the student-athlete who has overcome adversities and been an inspiration to his fellow teammates) – running back Journey Brown, tight end Nick Bowers
  • Iron Lion Award (strength and conditioning). Awarded to the player who demonstrates the cornerstone of the Penn State Football strength and conditioning program — intensity and consistency – safety Garrett Taylor
  • Outstanding Run-on Award (Run-on player who exemplifies total commitment, loyalty, hard work and courage) – long snapper Chris Stoll, running back Nick Eury
  • Quarterback Club Special Awards – wide receiver Weston Carr, offensive lineman Hunter Kelly, wide receiver Colton Maxwell, quarterback Michael Shuster, kicker Justin Tobin, quarterback Jake Zembiec
  • Football Letterman’s Club Joe and Sue Paterno Post-Graduate Scholarship ($5,000 Scholarship to a senior to provide recognition and financial assistance for graduate school) – punter Blake Gillikin
  • The Nittany Lion Club Academic Achievement Award (senior with highest GPA) – punter Blake Gillikin
  • Highest Academic Average – punter Blake Gillikin, quarterback Will Levis
  • Public Service Award – punter Blake Gillikin, cornerback Trent Gordon
  • Scout Team Special Teams Player of the Year – running back Nick Eury, safety Justin Neff
  • Scout Team Defensive Player of the Year – cornerback Daequan Hardy, linebacker Max Chizmar, defensive end Smith Vilbert
  • Scout Team Offensive Player of the Year – offensive lineman Blake Zalar, quarterback Ta’Quan Roberson, offensive lineman Sal Wormley
  • Keystone Award (recognizes an individual considered to be the foundation of our program) – linebacker Cam Brown


The No. 10 Nittany Lions head to the Goodyear Cotton Bowl to face No. 17 Memphis on Dec. 28 at noon on ESPN. For information on Cotton Bowl tickets, visit GoPSUsports.com/bowlcentral.

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