Saquon Barkley sat alongside Penn State head coach James Franklin and cornerbacks coach Terry Smith at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, looking on twice to see if he would take home a national honor.
But Barkley was shut out at ESPN’s College Football Awards show.
The star tailback — who was snubbed Monday of an invite to the Heisman Trophy ceremony — did not win the Maxwell or Doak Walker Award. Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and Stanford running back Bryce Love took home the Maxwell and Doak Walker, respectively. Mayfield also won the Walter Camp Award earlier in the day over Barkley, Love, San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny and Louisville’s Lamar Jackson.
All things considered, Barkley was worthy of national recognition.
Barkley — the Big Ten’s offensive player, running back and return specialist of the year; Chicago Tribune Silver Football recipient, Walter Camp All-American, and Paul Hornung Award winner for the country’s most versatile player — had 2,154 all-purpose yards and 21 touchdowns, which rank second and fifth nationally, respectively.
Barkley’s 594 receiving yards are second-most among running backs, his 16 scrimmage plays of 30 yards or more rank third nationally, and the junior’s 28.4 yards per kick return are third-best among Power 5 players. Barkley — who set a conference record for six Big Ten weekly awards this season — is the only player in the country to rack up 1,000 rushing yards, 500 receiving yards and 400 return yards.
But Mayfield and Love did their fair share of standing out, too.
Mayfield leads No. 2 Oklahoma into the College Football Playoff as the country’s premier passer. The Heisman Trophy shoo-in, Mayfield has logged 4,340 yards and 41 touchdowns through the air with a nation-leading 203.8 passer rating.
Love racked up 1,973 rushing yards, 8.3 yards per attempt and 17 touchdowns on the ground — which ranks second, fourth and seventh nationally, respectively.