Trace McSorley and Nick Scott have grown accustomed to leading the charge as captains for Penn State’s football team.
Now, punter Blake Gillikin will join them.
Football Selects 2018 Captains
Penn State coach James Franklin announced Saturday seniors McSorley and Scott and junior Gillikin were voted as team captains for the 2018 season by their teammates.
McSorley and Scott are team captains for the second-straight season, while this will be a first for Gillikin.
“Trace and Nick have earned the respect of their teammates after being selected by their peers as captain for a second-straight year,” Franklin said through Penn State officials. “Blake has been outstanding for our very young special teams unit and has been killing it in the classroom with a perfect GPA. These three have been leaders for us in the locker room, on the field and in the classroom.
”This team will continue to make great strides under their leadership.”
Gillikin is coming off a season in which he garnered second-team All-Big Ten accolades from the coaches and media as a punter. He also took home second-team all-conference honors from the Associated Press and was honorable-mention All-America by GPR Punt Ratings. He finished 35th in FBS with a 43.2 punting average and was fourth in FBS in coffin wedge average (89.84), according to GPR Punt Rating. Gillikin also excelled in the classroom, earning CoSIDA Academic All-District and Academic All-Big Ten honors while maintaining a 4.0 cumulative grade-point average.
McSorley enters his final season and third as a starting quarterback for the Lions, having thrown a touchdown pass in 28 straight games. That’s the longest active streak in the FBS.
McSorley holds the Penn State career records for completion percentage (61.8), passing efficiency (152.9), passing touchdowns (59) and total offense (8,268 yards). He also owns the Lions season marks for passing yards (3,614 in 2016), completions (284 last season), passing touchdowns (29 in 2016), total offense (4,061 last season), 300-yard passing games (five in both 2016 and 2017), 200-yard passing games (11 in both 2016 and 2017) and touchdowns responsible for (37 last season).
In 2017, McSorley became just the second player in Big Ten history to have 25 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing scores in the same season, joining Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett (2014 and 2017). McSorley earned his second consecutive berth on the All-Big Ten second team, selected by the coaches and media last season. McSorley was a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and Manning Award.
Scott, who was also a captain last season, had 33 tackles — including 1.5 tackles for loss. He scooped up a fumble against Indiana, which was forced by Irvin Charles on a punt return, and took it 13 yards for his second career touchdown. Scott, who arrived at Penn State as a running back but later converted to the defensive secondary, previously had a rushing touchdown against Army in 2015. A leader on special teams, Scott finished third on the team with nine kick coverage tackles, with eight coming on kickoffs and one on punt coverage in 2017.
They’ll be the first group on the field for the coin toss when the Nittany Lions open the 2018 season Sept. 1 against Appalachian State at Beaver Stadium.
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