Coming off his first season as a starter, Penn State safety Lamont Wade has big expectations entering the 2020 season. Wade will likely be a team captain and is expected to be one of the team’s defensive leaders. People in Happy Valley are not the only ones who have high expectations for Wade, as he was named to the Jim Thorpe Award watch list on Monday.
The Jim Thorpe Award goes to the best defensive back in college football each season. No Nittany Lion has ever won the award.
Wade came to Happy Valley as a highly touted five-star prospect from Clairton High School outside of Pittsburgh. After bouncing between cornerback and safety his first two years on campus, he exclusively played safety in 2019 and by the end of the season had settled in well at the position.
Starting all 13 games for the Cotton Bowl Champion Nittany Lions, Wade recorded 67 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss, 2.0 sacks, 5 pass break ups, and 3 forced fumbles in 2019. This included Wade having the game of his life against Ohio State, when he forced a pair of fumbles to help lead a defensive effort that nearly helped the Nittany Lions overcome a 21 point deficit in the second half.
Wade joins teammates Micah Parsons, Pat Freiermuth, Journey Brown, Noah Cain, and Sean Clifford as Nittany Lion players to be named to preseason award watch lists.