Saquon Barkley wasn’t in New York City for Saturday night’s Heisman Trophy ceremony — but the Penn State running back still received some recognition from the voters.
Barkley, who was snubbed of a spot as a finalist, finished fourth in the Heisman voting with 15 first-place votes and 201 top-3 votes.
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the award with732 of 887 first-place votes. The two other finalists at the PlayStation Theater — Stanford’s Bryce Love and Louisville’s Lamar Jackson — finished second and third, respectively.
Barkley is the first Penn State player to finish with Heisman votes since quarterback Michael Robinson was fifth on the ballot in 2005. The last Nittany Lions running back to receive Heisman recognition was Larry Johnson, who finished third in 2002.
Barkley’s rushing numbers — the primary reason why he wasn’t named a finalist — didn’t stack up with Johnson or Love. His 1,134 yards on the ground rank 34th nationally. Johnson racked up 2,087 in 2002, and Love had 1,973 this season.
But Barkley’s impact as an all-purpose threat is what landed him votes. The junior ranks second and fifth in the country in all-purpose yards (2,154) and total touchdowns (21), respectively. His 28.4 yards per kick return is third among Power 5 players, bolstered by a pair of touchdowns.
Barkley — who is a 227-yard bowl performance away from becoming Penn State’s all-time leading rusher — was named the Big Ten’s offensive player, running back and return specialist of the year. This week, he was also named the Chicago Tribune Silver Football recipient and won the Paul Hornung Award for college football’s most versatile player.
Barkley will likely finish off his college career when No. 9 Penn State faces off with No. 11 Washington in the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 30.
1. Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield (732 first-place votes) 2,398 points
2. Stanford RB Bryce Love (75 first-place votes) 1,300 points
3. Louisville QB Lamar Jackson (47 first-place votes) 793 points
4. Penn State RB Saquon Barkley (15 first-place votes) 304 points
5. San Diego State RB Rashaad Penny (7 first-place votes) 175 points
6. Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor (2 first-place votes) 58 points
7. Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph (2 first-place votes) 56 points
8. UCF QB McKenzie Milton (4 first-place votes) 54 points
9. Auburn RB Kerryon Johnson (0 first-place votes) 45 points
10. Georgia LB Roquan Smith (3 first-place votes) 38 points