PHILADELPHIA - Standout senior linebacker Tyler Drake has been a terror for opposing Ivy League offenses all season, and is now receiving national attention. On Wednesday, Drake was named to the STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Year award watch list.
Voting for the national honor will take place next week, with the top three vote-getters from 25 finalists getting invited to the STATS FCS Awards Banquet on Jan. 8 in Frisco, Texas, where the STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Year will be named.
Drake ranks ninth in the FCS in sacks (8.5), and is fourth in the country with four forced fumbles. He leads the Ivies in both categories and is also tops in the Ancient Eight with 12.0 tackles for loss. The Plantation, Fla., native also leads the Quakers and is third in the Ivy League with 73 tackles this season.
On Oct. 10, Drake had four sacks against No. 13 Fordham—the most in a game for a Penn player since Steve Lhotak had 4.5 against Harvard on Nov. 15, 2003. His 8.5 sacks are the most in a season by a Penn player since Mike Germino had 9.5 in 1999.
In Penn's 139th season of football, only four players in school history have accumulated more sacks than Drake, who is now fifth all-time at Penn with 17.5 for his career.
A national panel of over 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries will select the award winner.
On Saturday, Drake and the Quakers can clinch Penn’s first Ivy League championship since 2012, and the program’s 17th Ivy title overall—second-most all-time. The Quakers will have to go through Cornell in the fifth-most played rivalry in FCS history. The 122nd meeting with the Big Red kicks off from historic Franklin Field at 1 p.m., and the game can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network.