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Penn State: 3 Named to Bednarik Award Watch List

Penn State Nittany Lions linebacker Abdul Carter (11) November 12, 2022 David Hague/NSN

The Bednarik Award is given annually to the best defensive player in college football, and Penn State has three on the preseason watch list.

It’s no stranger to PSU, with three Penn Staters having won the award in linebackers Lavar Arrington, Paul Posluszny and Dan Connor.

Entering the 2023 season three current players saw were added to the Bednarik Award Watch List: linebacker Abdul Carter, defensive end Chop Robinson and cornerback Kalen King.

Unlike the previous award winners from Penn State, they all play different positions and provide the team with skill at all three levels of the defense.

Carter burst onto the scene in 2022 as a true freshman making 56 tackles with 10.5 coming for a loss and 6.5 sacks. Barring anything unforeseen, Carter is expected to have an even better year in 2023 and will be among the stalwarts on defense for the Nittany Lions.

Robinson came to Penn State prior to the 2022 season from Maryland where he had played in 13 games. He played in 12 games where he racked up 26 tackles, 10 of which came for a loss and 5.5 sacks. He was named All-Big Ten honorable mention by the coaches and media. His draft stock has consistently risen since arriving in Happy Valley and should rise even more this season.

King made his presence known in a big way with Joey Porter, Jr. being sidelined last season. The Michigan native played his best football when Porter was out as he stepped into the lockdown corner role with ease.

He had five pass breakups and an interception against Michigan State then backed that up in the Rose Bowl with an interception against Utah.

This trio staying healthy is paramount to the success of the Penn State defense, and one thing is for certain: coordinator Manny Diaz sure is happy to have them on his side.

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