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Penn State Football: Hamler Named to Paul Hornung Award Watch List

by on July 25, 2019 4:09 PM

Penn State football wideout KJ Hamler on Thursday was named to his third award watch list ahead of the 2019 season. This time, he’s been recognized by the Paul Hornung Award, which is annually given to college football’s most versatile player.

It’s no surprise to see Hamler’s name back in consideration for the award after he was a finalist for it last year. As a redshirt freshman, Hamler quickly emerged as one of college football’s most electrifying receivers thanks to his speed, quickness and agility.

The wide receiver led the Nittany Lions with 42 receptions and 754 yards after earning a starting role out of training camp. Hamler scored five touchdowns through the air, and he also added a 32-yard rushing score against Pitt in week 2 of last season.

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Though he didn’t bring a kickoff or punt back for a touchdown, Hamler was also a weapon on special teams, which was on full display when he set up Penn State with great field position before a game-tying drive against Appalachian State late in the fourth quarter. In 2019, Hamler will be expected to lead a young group of wide receivers that includes young talents like Jahan Dotson and Justin Shorter.

Hamler also made the cut for the Maxwell Award (best player) and Biletnikoff Award (best wide receiver) watch lists this preseason. Yetur Gross-Matos, Micah Parsons, Pat Freiermuth and Blake Gillikin are among the other Nittany Lions who have earned spots on preseason watch lists in the buildup to the 2019 season.

The last Penn State player to win the Hornung was Saquon Barkley, who earned the trophy in 2017 after 1,271 rushing yards, 632 receiving yards, and a total of 23 touchdowns in his final season as a Nittany Lion

Mikey Mandarino is a staff writer for Onward State.
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