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Penn State’s David Taylor nominated for Male College Athlete ESPY Award

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David Taylor, two-time NCAA wrestling champ for Penn State, is one of five athletes nominated for a 2014 ESPY award as Best Male College Athlete of the Year, award sponsor ESPN announced Tuesday.

The awards, presented for outstanding achievements in sport by ESPN, will be presented on Wednesday, July 16 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

Taylor will be facing off against arguably his toughest competition in his athletic career. Also in the running for the award is Doug McDermott (Creighton University basketball), Johnny Gaudreau (Boston College hockey), Lyle Thompson (Albany lacrosse) and Jameis Winston (Florida State football/baseball).

Awards are determined by an online vote of fans now through July 16. To vote, visit the 2014 ESPY Awards website.

Since the ESPY Awards made their debut in 1993, a number of amateur wrestlers have been nominated for various awards. Wrestlers who have won ESPY Awards include Rulon Gardner, Cael Sanderson and Anthony Robles. Taylor’s collegiate rival, Kyle Dake, was nominated last year for ESPY Male College Athlete honors but lost out to Texas A&M football star Johnny Manziel.

Reacting to the nomination, Taylor tweeted this message on his @magicman_psu Twitter account Tuesday: I voted! An honor to be a nominee for @ESPYS Male College AOY w/ these great athletes! http://es.pn/1sC8qhJ #VoteM2

The ESPY nomination is the latest honor for Taylor, a four-time NCAA All-American and Big Ten Champ, and two-time NCAA titlewinner (winning the 165-pound crown in 2012 and 2014). On Monday, the Nittany Lion wrestler was named 2014 Jesse Owens Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year, a week after being named his alma mater’s Male Athlete of the Year. Earlier this spring, Taylor won the 2014 Hodge Trophy as the nation’s top college wrestler by WIN (Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine), to accompany the one he received in 2012, along with being named Wrestler of the Year by amateur wrestling websites InterMat and Flowrestling.org.

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