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Nicholas Singleton Named to Maxwell Award Watch List

The rising true sophomore is listed alongside the best players in college football

Michigan State v Penn State Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Nicholas Singleton captured the attention of the college football world as a true freshman with many highlight-reel plays while setting records along the way. It’s no surprise he enters year two with the Nittany Lions on the Maxwell Award watch list, which goes to the nation’s best overall player each December.

Singleton led Penn State in rushing as a true freshman with 1,061 yards while sharing carries with fellow freshman Kaytron Allen, as well as Keyvone Lee during the first half of the season. He also set a program record with 12 touchdowns — the most by a freshman in program history.

Singleton became a more well-rounded back during the course of his freshman year, learning to avoid would-be tacklers and gaining tough yardage in addition to his big-play ability. He finished the season with a 6.8 yards per carry average, which placed him second in the Big Ten and seventh among all running backs in the nation. Singleton closed out the season with 120 rushing yards and two touchdowns against a stingy Utah defense in the Rose Bowl — on just seven carries.

There are 85 players on the preseason watch list for the Maxwell Award, with Singleton being the sole member of the Nittany Lions to be named. Penn State has had seven Maxwell Award recipients — running back Larry Johnson, Jr. (2002), quarterback Kerry Collins (1994), quarterback Chuck Fuscina (1978), running back John Cappelletti (1973), defensive lineman Mike Reid (1969), offensive lineman Glen Ressler (1964), and quarterback Richie Lucas (1959).