Sport

Penn State's Saquon Barkley wins Paul Hornung Award for his versatility

Penn State's Saquon Barkley wins Paul Hornung Award for his versatility”

The Nittany Lions will take on the Washington Huskies in the Fiesta Bowl on December 30.

Barkley had 16 rushing touchdowns during a season in which he scored every 12 times he touched the ball.

Barkley is the No. 3 pick in Bleacher Report's latest mock draft, and reports pegged the Nittany Lions running back as a 2018 top-5 pick as far back as before the 2017 NFL Draft. Barkley also added one touchdown pass and two kickoff returns for a touchdown in 2017.

"It is an honor to win an award like the Paul Hornung Award for the most versatile player in college football", Barkley said in a statement.

It was announced Wednesday morning by the Louisville Sports Commission. I have to give a lot of the credit to my teammates and coaches, they are the reason that I am in position to win this award and I could not have done it without them.

Added Penn State head coach James Franklin: "I am thrilled for Saquon to join this elite list of Paul Hornung Award winners". As Penn State's primary kick returner, Barkley had 15 returns for 426 yards and two touchdowns (a 98-yarder against IN and a 97-yarder versus Ohio State).

Last season, Barkley had his most explosive year as a rusher, racking up 1,496 yards and 18 scores. He had seven touchdowns in the final three games of the year to help Penn State close strong. He is the second player in Big Ten history to win three major conference awards, joining last year's Paul Hornung Award victor, Michigan's Jabrill Peppers (Defensive Player of the Year, Linebacker of the Year, Return Specialist of the Year). The other finalists were Iowa State's Joel Lanning, NC State's Nyheim Hines and Dante Pettis from Washington.

Barkley has even thrown a touchdown pass this season and has completed both of his pass attempts.

The award - named after 1956 Heisman Trophy victor and Notre Dame quarterback Paul Hornung - has been doled out since 2010.



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