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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Senior safety Marcus Allen (Upper Marlboro, Md.) and senior linebacker Jason Cabinda (Flemington, N.J.) are among the 42 candidates on the preseason watch list for the 14th annual Lott IMPACT Trophy, as announced by the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation.
The Lott IMPACT Trophy honors the top defensive player in college football who makes the biggest impact for his team, both on and off the field. The award is given to a distinguished young man who represents the qualities embodied by Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott – Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity. Penn State’s Carl Nassib won the award in 2015.
Allen was named third-team All-Big Ten by the conference’s coaches and honorable mention by the media panel. He made a team- and career-high 110 tackles on the season to become the first Penn State safety to lead the team in tackles since James Boyd (109) in 2000. Allen’s total was also the most tackles for a Penn State safety since at least 1969. He was honored as the Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week and Rose Bowl Player of the Week for his 22-tackle effort versus Minnesota Oct. 1. He also claimed Oct. 24 Co-Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week accolades after blocking a field goal attempt versus No. 2 Ohio State, which led to the game-winning touchdown by teammate Grant Haley. Allen finished the season ranked 16th in the Big Ten with 7.9 tackles per game and was third in the conference with two fumble recoveries. For his career, Allen has 249 tackles, 13.0 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and eight pass breakups.
Cabinda makes the Lott IMPACT Trophy preseason watch list for the second-straight season. A 2017 team captain, Cabinda garnered third-team All-Big Ten accolades from the conference coaches, despite missing five games due to injury. He posted eight tackles or more in all nine games he played in last season and has logged eight or more tackles in 11 of his last 13 games, dating back to 2015. Cabinda finished third on the squad with 81 tackles in 2016, after posting 100 stops in his sophomore season. He had 13 tackles in the upset win over No. 2 Ohio State, including the game-clinching takedown of Buckeye quarterback J.T. Barrett on 4th-and-23 on OSU’s final drive. For his career, Cabinda has 198 tackles, eight pass breakups, 3.5 sacks and 10.0 tackles for loss.
The Nittany Lions’ home schedule features a trio of non-conference games, including Pitt’s first visit to Beaver Stadium since 1999. The Nittany Lions open the season against Akron (Sept. 2) and face Pitt (Sept. 9) and Georgia State (Sept. 16) to close out a three-game homestand to start the year. In Big Ten play, Penn State welcomes Indiana (Sept. 30), Michigan (Oct. 21), Rutgers (Nov. 11 - Homecoming) and Nebraska (Nov. 18) to Happy Valley.
More than 7,000 new season tickets have been sold for the 2017 campaign. For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing new 2017 season tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit www.PSUnrivaled.com, call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office weekdays from 10 a.m-6 p.m.