Saquon Barkley is running through Big Ten defenses at a rate that could see him cutting and hurdling his way to New York for the Heisman Trophy presentation.
Following another outstanding performance on Saturday, this time in a dominant win over Iowa, the Nittany Lions sophomore running back is seeing his Heisman finalist talk heat up. And he’s starting to capture the attention of a national audience.
Barkley was named one of the top five Heisman candidates by Fox Sports’ Stewart Mandel, who released his updated list Sunday. Barkley was fifth on the list, and Michigan’s do-it-all LB Jabrill Peppers was third.
Louisville QB Lamar Jackson, Washington QB Jake Browning and Texas running back D’Onta Foreman were first, second and fourth, respectively, on the list.
In nine games, Barkley has 1,055 rushing yards (117.2 per game) and 11 touchdowns. He has rushed for more than 165 yards in three of his last four games, including Saturday night when he torched Iowa for 167 yards and a touchdown in the Nittany Lions’ 41-14 win. He also caught a 44-yard touchdown against the Hawkeyes, his 15th catch and second receiving score of the season.
OK, @saquonb21, now let's see you throw a touchdown pass.
— Penn State On BTN (@PennStateOnBTN) November 6, 2016
Peppers, meanwhile, remains high in the rankings thanks to his versatility. He continued to show it off against Maryland, including a new role as a distraction on a trick play.
What will @JabrillPeppers do today?
How about this?
That will do!
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) November 5, 2016