PHILADELPHIA – Junior wide receiver Justin Watson has earned a repeat trip to New York City for the Ivy League’s Asa S. Bushnell Cup Presentation as he was named one of two finalists for the Ancient Eight’s Offensive Player of the Year Award for the second year in a row as announced by the Ivy League on Tuesday.
The Bushnell Cup will be presented December 5 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City as part of a ceremony which will be broadcast live on the Ivy League Digital Network.
Runner-up in 2015, Watson is the first Quaker to be named a finalist for an Ivy League Player of the Year Award since the League began announcing finalists in 2010 and the fourth player overall.
“I cannot think of a more deserving person to be a finalist for an Offensive Player of the Year award than Justin Watson,” said George A. Munger Head Coach of Football Ray Priore. “He is the example for our program – he has high expectations for himself and he works harder than anyone to achieve them. Last year, he burst onto the scene and this season he elevated his play to an even higher level in a record-breaking year. To consistently put up the numbers he did with opponents spending so much of their gameplan trying to specifically contain him is exceptionally impressive. We as a program are tremendously proud of – and happy for – Justin.”
An Ivy League champion and unanimous first-team All-Ivy selection for the second year in a row, Watson took a stellar 2015 season and upped the ante during his junior campaign.
• 1 of 25 Finalists for the Walter Payton Award Presented to the FCS Offensive Player of the Year
• Led the Ivy League in Receptions (89), Yards (1,115), and Touchdowns (8) for the Second Year in a Row
• Led the Ivy League in All-Purpose Yards (1,248)
• Set Penn Single-Season Records in Receptions and Yards
• Ranked No. 3 in FCS in Receptions-Per-Game (8.9)
• Ranked No. 5 in Yards-Per-Game (111.5)
• Ranked No. 8 in Total Receiving Yards
Through three seasons as a Quaker, Watson has already established himself among the all-time greats to ever don a Penn jersey
• Ranks No. 2 all-time in receiving yards (2,694)
• Ranks No. 2 all-time in receptions (205)
• Ranks No. 4 all-time in receiving touchdowns (19)
• Ranks No. 8 all-time in all-purpose yards (2,981)
• Only Quaker ever with two 1,000-yard seasons
Watson’s rise up the record books is not limited to only the Penn charts. Here’s where he stands among Ivy League receivers all-time
• No. 3 all-time in 100-yard games (13)
• No. 9 all-time in receiving yards
• No. 12 all-time in receptions
Watson is joined by Princeton’s John Lovett as the two finalists for the Bushnell Cup. Dartmouth’s Folarin Orimolade and Princeton’s Kurt Holuba are the two finalists for Defensive Player of the Year.
About the Asa S. Bushnell Cup
The Asa S. Bushnell Cup was first presented in 1970. Presented by the Eastern Association of Intercollegiate Football Officials, the Bushnell Cup is awarded by vote of the Ivy League’s eight head football coaches to the players who display outstanding qualities of leadership, competitive spirit, contribution to the team, and accomplishments on the field. From 1970 to 2010, the Bushnell Cup recognized a Player of the Year (or Co-Players of the Year if there was a tie in the voting). Beginning with the 2010 season, the award is presented as a part of the festivities surrounding the National Football Foundation Annual Awards Dinner in New York City with four finalists named a week prior to the presentation. Beginning with the 2011 season, the award recognizes Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, honoring both as Bushnell Cup recipients.