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Wide receiver Chris Godwin is expected to be taken in the second or third round of the NFL draft, which begins Thursday.

Penn State WR Chris Godwin tries to relax before draft, Mac O’Keefe and Madison Carter honored, and more

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This is your Penn State Wake-Up Call for Wednesday, April 26. Let’s get started.

Caught in the draft

The 2017 NFL Draft begins Thursday, and it is expected that Penn State wide receiver Chris Godwin will be selected in the second or third round of the three-day selection process.

In the meantime, he told Joe Juliano of that his aim is to stay even-keeled:

“I’m trying not to think too much about the draft and when I may get the call, but obviously as we get closer, the harder and harder that becomes.”

While scouts’ opinions vary on Godwin, NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock told Juliano he is high on the PSU standout:

“I think you’re always looking for competitors, No. 1, and Penn State did some nice stuff with him giving him a chance to go catch the football. All of that factors into an NFL team’s conversation. I think what he has going for him is he’s a tough kid with some physicality and a pretty good catch radius.”

Godwin might very well be the only Nittany Lions player taken in this year’s draft. That’s a departure from recent years, as noted by Andrew Callahan of Lions247.

Eleven Lions have been chosen the last three years, including five in 2016 – defensive tackle Austin Johnson (Titans) and quarterback Christian Hackenberg (Jets) in the second round, defensive end Carl Nassib (Browns) in the third and defensive tackle Anthony Zettel (Lions) and defensive back Jordan Lucas (Dolphins) in the sixth.

Consider that a moment: PSU lost five players in the draft and improved from 7-6 to 11-3. That speaks not only to the talent of the younger players in the pipeline but also to the improvement the Lions made between the 2015 and 2016 seasons. And, finally, it is a testimony to fit – how, for instance, Trace McSorley is better suited to the offensive system favored by coach James Franklin and coordinator Joe Moorhead than Hackenberg was.

One other stray thought: The Lions’ last first-round selection was defensive tackle Jared Odrick, who was taken by Miami in 2010. Their next one will likely come next year, if, as expected, Saquon Barkley declares for the 2018 NFL Draft.

Carter, O’Keefe honored

Madison Carter and Mac O’Keefe, standouts for the PSU women’s and men’s lacrosse teams, respectively, were honored by the Big Ten on Tuesday.

Carter, a sophomore attack/midfielder who leads the conference with 58 goals, was named Offensive Player of the Week for the fourth time this season. She scored 6 goals in last week’s 16-14 loss to top-ranked Maryland.

O’Keefe, who had 3 goals in Sunday’s 13-7 victory over Rutgers, was named Freshman of the Week. He leads the Lions with 42 goals.

The No. 5 women’s team is 14-2, while the men, ranked 10th, are 11-2. Both close out the regular season Sunday at Michigan.

The men’s conference tournament begins May 4 in Columbus, while the women’s tournament begins the following day in College Park, Md.

More Autio for Lions

Goalie Oskar Autio, brother of senior defenseman Erik Autio, made a verbal commitment to play hockey for Penn State on Tuesday, but as Ben Jones of writes, it’s unclear when he will join the program.

There is, Jones adds, a wider recruiting window in hockey than in other sports, and prospects are allowed more flexibility as to when they enroll.

That means the younger Autio, currently playing in a prospects league in Finland, might not arrive in Happy Valley for at least another year.

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