Penn State Football

Penn State’s Saquon Barkley named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year

Penn State running back Saquon Barkley was named the Big Ten’s Offensive Player of the Year on Wednesday night.
Penn State running back Saquon Barkley was named the Big Ten’s Offensive Player of the Year on Wednesday night. adrey@centredaily.com

Saquon Barkley’s stellar sophomore season continued Wednesday night.

Barkley was named the Big Ten Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year, as announced on the Big Ten Network.

“When I found out I was honored, and I was happy,” the running back said on BTN’s announcement show. “It’s a big award, a big achievement, but I want to give thanks to my O-line, the coaching staff, and everyone on the offensive side of the ball for helping me out to achieve that award.”

Later in the evening, Barkley was also named Big Ten Ameche-Dayne Running Back of the Year.

Barkley has built on a breakout freshman campaign, totaling 1,219 rushing yards and 17 total touchdowns through 12 games this season.

Barkley’s been a threat to haul passes in out of the backfield, as well. He has 21 catches for 327 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

In total, he’s averaging 6.2 yards per touch.

The Nittany Lions’ running back is Penn State’s fourth player to be named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, joining Kerry Collins (1994), Curtis Enis (1997) and Michael Robinson (2005). Barkley is also just the eighth sophomore to ever win the award.

McSorley, others honored

Barkley’s backfield partner got some props, too.

Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley was the second-team All-Big Ten quarterback selection by both coaches and media.

McSorley was slotted behind Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett and beat out Michigan signal-caller Wilton Speight.

The redshirt sophomore gunslinger has racked up 2,976 passing yards and 27 total touchdowns (21 throwing, 6 rushing). McSorley is averaging 16.17 yards per completion — No. 1 in the country.

In terms of other offensive honors, Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki was named second-team All-Big Ten (media) and wide receiver Chris Godwin was a third-team selection (media), while Godwin, Gesicki and center Brian Gaia earned honorable mention recognition by the coaches.

Gesicki set a pair of Penn State single-season tight end records this season with 44 receptions and 610 yards. The junior has three touchdowns and is averaging 13.9 yards per catch.

Godwin leads the Nittany Lions with 47 catches, 762 yards and nine touchdowns.

John McGonigal: 814-231-4630, @jmcgonigal9

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