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Penn State Defenders Porter, Brown, Mustipher Named to Preseason Watch Lists

Ji'Ayir Brown
MADISON, WI - SEPTEMBER 04: Penn State safety Ji'Ayir Brown (16) can't quite hang on to the ball for an interception in front of Wisconsin wide receiver Kendric Pryor (3) during a college football game between the University of Wisconsin Badgers and the Penn State University Nittany Lions on September 4, 2021 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, WI. (Photo by Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire)

On Monday, three Penn State defenders were named to their second preseason watch lists.

Cornerback Joey Porter Jr. and safety Ji’Ayir Brown were named to the Chuck Bednarik watch list, and defensive tackle PJ Mustipher was named to the Lombardi Award Watchlist.

The Bednarik is awarded annually to the best defensive player in college football, and the Lombardi is awarded annually to the best offensive or defensive lineman.

Brown and Porter, who were named to the Jim Thorpe Award watch list, earned third-team All-Big Ten honors last season.

Porter recorded 51 tackles, four pass breakups, and one interception in 2021, while Brown recorded six interceptions, which were tied for most in the nation.

Penn State has had four Bednarik award winners, which are the most of any school in the country.

Former linebacker LaVar Arrington won the award in 1999, fellow linebacker Paul Posluszny won the award in back-to-back seasons in 2005 and 2006. Another linebacker, Dan Connor, won the award in 2007.

Mustipher, who was also named to the Outland Trophy watch list, was injured in October last season but still earned second-team All-Big Ten honors.

At last week’s Big Ten Media Day, coach James Franklin said Mustipher is healthy and will be ready to play in Penn State’s season opener at Purdue.

Penn State has had two Lombardi Award winners, with former defensive tackle Bruce Clark winning the award in 1978 and defensive end Carl Nassib winning it in 2015.

Twitter: @bwalkerdadon

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