Barkley captures Hornug, AP Awards

UNIVERSITY PARK – It’s been a big day for Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.

The junior picked up a couple more awards on Wednesday, winning the Paul Hornug Award and winning the AP’s Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Award.

Barkley is the first Penn State player to win the award and second consecutive from the Big Ten. The award went to former Michigan player Jabrill Peppers in 2016.

“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 news 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.”

Barkley’s stats for the 2017 regular season are nothing short of astounding.

He scored 16 rushing TDs and scored every 12 times he touched the football. Additionally, he caught three touchdowns, returned a couple of kickoffs for scores and completed one pass for a touchdown.

The Paul Hornung Award, given annual by the Louisville Sports Commission, is named for the Hall of Fame player who is considered the most versatile in NFL history. Hornung, the 1956 Heisman Trophy winner, was a quarterback who played every position in the offensive backfield for the Irish. He also punted and kicked, returned kickoffs and started at safety on defense.

Hornung set an NFL scoring record with the Green Bay Packers in 1961 that lasted for 46 years. He is a member of the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

“I couldn't be more proud of Saquon and everything he has accomplished at Penn State,” Penn State head coach James Franklin said in a statement. “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."

Barkley led the Big Ten in scoring. He is one of five players in the FBS to score touchdowns on plays longer than 80 yards. He tied for second nationally with four plays of 80 yards or longer. He is tied for second nationally with four plays of 80 yards or longer.

Later Wednesday, Barkley was selected as the Associated Press’ Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year. It was the second consecutive season that Barkley won the award. Iowa linebacker Josey Jewell took home the defensive honor.

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