Here are my “awards” for the 2016 PSU football season.
“Did I really see that?” - Mike Gesicki went from a guy who dropped pass after pass one year to a glue handed clutch receiver in 2016. Now Mike, just get stronger with your blocking and run short routes consistently past the first down marker.
“Follow the path.” – Ryan Bates was a consistent contributor wherever he played this year. When Nelson, Palmer, and others went down for the season he stepped up and played his best ball all year. We have this kid for three more years, if he wants it.
“Yes, you can date my daughter” – Saquon Barkley is a good, hard-working kid, who shows a genuine interest in his teammates. On second thought, nobody is that nice…
“Let’s see what you do next year” – Curtis Cothran, like so many players on this team, just got better with more experience and good coaching. When Wisconsin punched us in the mouth and went up 21 points he just continued to make plays. TFL’s are something to expect from him from now on.
“Linebacker U” – An NFL team will draft Brandon Bell and be glad they did.
“Is that kid on the training staff?” – Trace McSorley went from “too small to be good” to a guy who collected some Heisman votes. The year turned around when the coaches opened the entire playbook and let him use his feet in designed plays. Hack who?
“Player least recognized” – Blake Gillikin. You know, the kid who punts. The young man gave us good field position time and time again. Remember too, there is no nine game winning streak and Big 10 title if he failed to cover the bad snap in the end zone against tOSU.
“Yawn, pass the popcorn” – Tyler Davis was money all year. He may not have the strongest leg, but he just does not miss.
“He is still on this team?” – Koa Farmer went from someone buried on the depth chart to a loose missile at LB. Big plays at crucial times seem to be his specialty. I think he is in his sixth year with the program.
“He just contributes” – Brian Gaia came to PSU to play DL and found himself a starter on OL. No, not just a starter but a contributor and leader. He personifies the “Next man up!” philosophy everyone on this team young team has bought into.
“Oh, and this kid plays DB” – Grant Haley made the two biggest plays of the year. Not many people get to say that on a football team.
“He gets better the longer the game lasts” – Garrett Sickels was relentless and in the fourth quarter you could always count on him for tfls or sacks.
“You are the man” – The entire squad. From the few seniors to the group of young kids on the practice squad. So many contributors. So many fan favorites. More to come.