Saquon Barkley, Penn State’s star running back, was named the winner of the 2017 Paul Hornung Award on Wednesday. The honor goes to the most versatile player in the nation.
Saquon Barkley wins Paul Hornung Award
— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) December 6, 2017
Barkley was a threat in multiple areas for the Nittany Lions in 2017. He ran for 1,134 yards, caught 47 passes for 594 yards and registered 426 yards on kick returns. Barkley was responsible for 22 total touchdowns in the 2017 regular season (16 rushing, 3 receiving, 2 kick returning and 1 passing).
“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 press release. “I am so appreciative of Mr. Hornung and the Louisville Sports Commission for selecting me for this very special honor. 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. I also want to thank our amazing fans at Penn State. We Are!”
Barkley’s win of the Hornung Award comes just two days after he was subbed for the Heisman Trophy. Barkley was not named a finalist for college football’s top individual honor despite being a favorite for the award for two months of the season.
A junior, Barkley was the first Penn State player to win the Hornung Award, which was first handed out in 2010. He beat out Joel Lanning (Iowa State), Dante Pettis (Washington) and Nyheim Hines (N.C. State) for the honor. Barkley is the second straight Big Ten player to win the award, following Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers in 2016.
“I am thrilled for Saquon to join this elite list of Paul Hornung Award winners,” Penn State coach James Franklin said in a statement. “I couldn’t be more proud of Saquon and everything he has accomplished at Penn State. In my 22 years of coaching, I have never coached or seen a player who can affect the game the way Saquon Barkley does. The Hornung Award is not only honoring the most versatile player in college football, but is also recognizing one of the best people in college football.”