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This diving catch of a Nick Robinson pass boosted Penn football to a win its final game, and boosted senior wide receiver Justin Watson to status as one of the country's 25 best offensive players.

Photo: Ilana Wurman

Another day, another accolade for Justin Watson. 

The superstar senior wide receiver is being honored for his accomplishments once again, proving that those involved with Penn Athletics aren’t the only ones marveling at his gridiron dominance. 

Watson, for the second year in a row, was just named one of 25 finalists for the prestigious Walter Payton Award, presented each year to the Most Outstanding Player in FCS Football.  

After becoming the first player in Ivy League history to post three consecutive years with over 1,000 receiving yards, it’s no surprise that the senior standout is garnering such impressive recognition. 

Photo: Christine Lam

In fact, the streak of over 1,000 yards each season is just one of the many records Watson has set in his illustrious Penn career. His 214 receptions in Ivy League contests place him at the top of the Quakers’ all-time list and second across the entire conference’s rich history, and his 33 receiving touchdowns are No. 1 all-time at Penn and No. 3 all-time in the Ivy League. Additionally, his total of 2,675 receiving yards in Ivy games is a conference record, as is his 40-game reception streak, a streak that also paces all active players in the FCS.  

The above records are just a small subset of Watson’s numerous accomplishments, and, as is the case with most legendary players, these statistics led directly to victories for his team, as, during Watson’s tenure, Penn football won two Ivy League Championships. 

Between the statistics and the wins, Watson has a compelling case to take home the coveted award this time around, but he won’t know until January 5 at the FCS Awards Banquet and Presentation, sponsored by sports technology, data, and content company STATS LLC. The Banquet, which is held in Frisco, Texas the day before the FCS National Championship game, will serve as one of the last opportunities for Watson to be showcased on the collegiate stage. After that, the all-time FCS great will look to prove his mettle in the NFL.

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