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LB Jason Cabinda Named to Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List

The junior linebacker is receiving accolades following an outstanding sophomore campaign.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

You can tell that football season is slowly getting closer with the start of preseason award watch lists. The first Nittany Lion to receive notice in 2016 is linebacker Jason Cabinda, who has been named to the watch list for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, given annually to the top defensive player who makes the biggest impact on his team, both on and off the field.

Cabinda started all 13 games as a true sophomore in 2015 and led the team with 100 tackles. He also contributed 5.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks to go along with a forced fumble and an interception. Cabinda moved to middle linebacker in week two following a season-ending injury to Nyeem Wartman-White, and eventually earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors in his first season as a starter. Cabinda and Wartman-White are currently competing for the starting middle linebacker spot, with the other ultimately starting on the outside. Joined by senior Brandon Bell, Penn State should boast one of the top starting linebacker units in the nation in 2016.

Should Cabinda win the Lott IMPACT Trophy in 2016, he will be the second consecutive Nittany Lion to take home the honor. Former Penn State defensive end and current Cleveland Brown third-round pick Carl Nassib claimed the award in 2015 after leading the nation in sacks despite missing most of the final three games of the season.

The award is named in honor of former USC and San Francisco 49ers legend Ronnie Lott, who is recognized as one of the top safeties in the history of the sport.

Congratulations, Jason!