Penn football might not have won any trophies this season, but two players might be bringing home some hardware after all.
On Tuesday, the Ivy League announced the finalists for its Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year awards. Senior wide receiver Justin Watson was named a finalist for the offensive award and junior linebacker Nick Miller was nominated for the defensive honor.
Watson finished his collegiate football career with a record-breaking season for the Red and Blue. The Bridgeville, Pennsylvania native set an Ivy League record by hauling in a receiving touchdown in every game this season and also broke several other school records. His 286 career receptions, 3,777 receiving yards, and 33 career receiving touchdowns all rank first at Penn all-time.
Miller’s 104 tackles this year were more than any other Ivy player and the most for any Penn player since 1997. His four fumble recoveries were also tops in the conference and were tied for the most in the entire FCS. He also recorded two interceptions, bringing one all the way back for a touchdown.
“This is a tremendous honor for Justin and Nick, and a wonderful representation of where we are as a program,” said coach Ray Priore in a Penn Athletics press release. “Both of these players provided big play after big play for our team this season and are undoubtedly among the best in the country at their positions. Whether it was game-winning touchdowns from Justin or momentum-flipping turnovers from Nick, they provided our team with countless huge plays and left an unforgettable mark on our fans this season.”
The other offensive finalist is Princeton senior quarterback Chad Kanoff, and Yale senior linebacker Matthew Oplinger and Brown senior defensive end Richard Jarvis were both named as defensive finalists.
All five finalists will meet in New York on December 4 for the award announcements at the Asa S. Bushnell Cup Presentation.