Land of 10/file photo
Penn State coach James Franklin was all smiles after winning the Pinstripe Bowl in 2014. Will he be smiling after the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 30?

Penn State DB Christian Campbell invited to Senior Bowl; more accolades for Saquon Barkley

Penn State football is the No. 1 topic in We are… Awake every day — but we cover news, notes and analysis from across Nittany Lions sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Penn State football, recruiting, basketball and more.

More bowling

Penn State defensive back Christian Campbell at some point will find himself matched up against Washington receiving threat Dante Pettis when the two teams hook up in the Dec. 20 Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.

Campbell will also get a chance to showcase his ability for NFL scouts after that as he was invited to the Senior Bowl on Jan. 27 in Mobile, Ala., writes Andrew Rubin of the Daily Collegian.

Campbell had a notable game against Northwestern earlier this season and finished with 1 interception and 8 passes defended in 2017. NFL Draft Scout has Campbell ranked the 19th-best corner available.

More recognition

The accolades keep piling up for Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. On Monday, the junior was named to the Football Writers Association of America and The Associated Press All-America teams, writes John McGonigal of the Centre Daily Times.

Barkley was also named the team MVP at the annual season-end awards banquet for the Penn State football team on Sunday.

MORE: Want this roundup in your inbox every morning? Sign up here

Catching up

McGonigal also talked to former Penn State captain Von Walker for his weekly piece on former Nittany Lions and where they are now.

Walker played at nearby Central Mountain High School in Mill Hall, Pa., about 35 minutes from Penn State, and met with then coach Bill O’Brien and then-offensive line coach Mac McWhorter and was told nothing would be promised to him.

From McGonigal:

It was a dream of mine for a long time, growing up where I did and having the support system that I did. I said yes on the spot. And, hey, the hardest part was just digging deep and understanding just what it takes to make it at that kind of level. Every opportunity you got, you had to have that mentality that, “This is it. I’ve got to take my shot.”

Walker did miss the Rose Bowl last season with a knee injury, but made the most of his time at Penn State flipping from running back to defensive back.

Another former Nittany Lions player who has a showcase for the NFL scouts upcoming is Adam Brenneman. The tight end transferred from Penn State after O’Brien left for the Houston Texans and finished his college career at UMass, earning a Senior Bowl invite.

Greg Pickel of Pennlive caught up with Brenneman, who will train for the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine at the Spooky Nook sports complex in Lancaster Co.

A closer look

How good was the Penn State defense this season? Barry Leonard Jr. of Victory Bell Rings takes a closer look at Brent Pry’s unit.

From Leonard:

The Nittany Lions did an excellent job when it came to getting into the opposing backfield and disrupting plays. Penn State averaged seven tackles for loss per game (seventh in the nation) and three sacks per game (eighth).

That type of pressure could help disrupt quarterback Jake Browning and the Washington offense in the Fiesta Bowl.

Up next

Ricky Slade, an incoming freshmen who will contend to replace Barkley in the Penn State backfield, assuming Barkley does what everyone thinks he will and bolts for the NFL, was named Virginia’s Gatorade Player of the Year.

Slade rushed for 1,978 yards and 30 touchdowns during his senior year at C.D. Hylton.

Per Greg Pickel of Pennlive, Slade is expected to sign on Dec. 2o and enroll early.

Miss previous editions of the Wakeup Call? They can be found here.