Nittany Lions Host Senior Day on Saturday Versus Badgers
The Nittany Lions return their top seven pass catchers from last year and Alex Kenney should figure prominently in the wide receiver rotation and on special teams. A redshirt junior, Kenney was sixth on the team with 17 catches for 172 yards last season. He moved back to wide receiver from cornerback during preparations for the TicketCity Bowl at the end of the 2011 season. One of the squad's quickest and most athletic players, Kenney also could play a significant role as a kickoff returner. He was the team leader with a :4.43 40-yard time through the spring. A state prep track record-holder in the 60 meters, his work-ethic, desire and intelligence have helped him make substantial progress during the past year. Success in athletics runs in the family, as Kenney's sister, Lauren, is an accomplished junior thrower on the Penn State women's track and field team. She won the javelin title at the 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships and placed in the top five at the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive year. An older brother, Matthew, was a three-year football letterman at Cornell. Kenney was named to the 2012 Academic All-Big Ten team and brought a 3.11 grade-point average into the summer. He is on schedule to graduate in December, doing so in three and one-half years. Kenney joins Matt Baney and Jack Haffner as former State College Area High School teammates who are returning Nittany Lion squad members.
2012 (Junior Season)
Kenney played in 11 games and earned his first career start against Ohio State. He was sixth on the team with 17 receptions for 172 yards, with a long catch of 24 yards. Kenney also averaged 17.8 yards on four kickoff returns. He gained a career-high 50 yards on three receptions at Virginia, including a career-long 24-yard effort and a 23-yard catch. He made a career-high four catches in the 35-7 win at Illinois and returned three kickoffs 51 yards, with a long of 22 yards, in the 39-28 comeback victory over No. 24 Northwestern. Kenney made his first career start against Ohio State and recorded two catches at No. 18 Nebraska. He had three catches in the 24-21 overtime win over Wisconsin, including a 14-yard grab to keep a scoring drive moving downfield. Kenney was named Academic All-Big Ten for the first time.
2011 (Sophomore Season)
Kenney spent the majority of the season at cornerback, but returned to wide receiver during preparations for the TicketCity Bowl with Houston. He recorded one tackle and returned a kickoff for 16 yards in the win over Indiana State. Kenney also was a sprinter on Coach Beth Alford-Sullivan's indoor track and field team. His best performance in the 60 meters was a team-best :06.96 at the 2011 Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships. Kenney's top performance in the 200 meters was :22.08 at the Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup.
2010 (Freshman Season)
Kenney was a nine-time all-state football and track honoree at State College Area High School. Playing for Coach Al Wolski, Kenney was selected PA Football News Class AAAA all-state his final three years. He was named a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, Scout.com and ESPN.com and was selected the Old Spice Red Zone Pennsylvania Player-of-the-Year and a SuperPrep All-American. Highlights of his 2009 senior season include being named first-team all-state and first-team Mid-Penn Conference all-star on offense, defense and as a kick returner for the second consecutive year. As a senior, Kenney ran for 1,175 yards, had 475 receiving yards and totaled 29 touchdowns, while also making 12 interceptions (returning three for scores). A 2010 Big 33 Classic selection, he scored 56 career touchdowns. The 2008 U.S. Army All-American nominee gained more than 1,400 all-purpose yards, averaging 13 yards per carry, and scored 13 touchdowns as a junior. Kenney compiled more than 1,000 all-purpose yards and scored 11 times as a sophomore. He was a 14-time Pennsylvania state track medalist, finishing second in the 100 meters (:10.63) and third in the 200 (:21.42) at the 2010 State Championships. He also holds the state indoor record in the 60 meters (:6.80), set in 2010. Kenney left State College Area High School owning seven school track and field records. He received the Power of PAWS Academic Leadership Award, the Kevin Dare Award and was on the honor roll.
Full name is Alex James Kenney. He is the son of Larry and Patti Kenney, both of whom are Penn State graduates. His father is a professor in kinesiology on the University Park campus. He has two siblings, Matthew and Lauren. Matthew was a three-year football letterman at Cornell and Lauren played high school soccer and was the 2011 state gold medalist in the javelin. Lauren won the javelin title at the 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships and qualified for the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive year. She placed fifth in the javelin at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships after taking fourth place in 2012. Kenney enjoys skiing, skateboarding and playing video games. He is majoring in communication, arts and sciences and owned a 3.11 grade-point average after the spring semester. Born September 2, 1991 in State College, Pa.