All season long, Saquon Barkley has been dazzling on the field for the Nittany Lions.
Whether it’s been through the air or on the ground, Barkley has made his presence known with more than 1,700 APY through the end of the regular season. He may not win the Heisman Trophy this year, but he does have the statistics to back up a possible trip to New York City for the presentation ceremony.
As Barkley hopes to make the ceremony with a few other notable running backs, we took a look at his season and how it compares to the past five Heisman winners at his position:
Derrick Henry (2015)
Henry had an immense workload throughout the 2015-16 season, leading the Crimson Tide to a national title win over Clemson. He carried the ball an astounding 395 times for 2,219 yards and 28 touchdowns. Barkley, on the other hand, rushed for just about half of Henry’s total yardage, but was much more efficient in other facets of the game. The now-Tennessee Titan only logged 91 receiving yards in his third season at Alabama, compared to Barkley’s 594, which ranking top ten in the conference.
Mark Ingram (2009)
Another Nick Saban product, Ingram had a stellar sophomore season while rushing for 1,658 yards on 271 attempts. The voting for the award this year was very close, as stars like Toby Gerhart and Colt McCoy were just edged out by Ingram. The Heisman winner was much more effective in the passing game than Derrick Henry, but neither were as versatile statistically as Barkley. The key to both of these two winning the award was the team’s overall record, but it isn’t unheard of to see a player win without his team going undefeated.
Reggie Bush (2005)
Although his award was revoked, Bush was still one of the most electric running backs to ever play the position. Rushing for more than 1,700 yards and also being a force through the air, Bush led his team to a national championship appearance against Texas. Although they fell short due to some Vince Young heroics, Bush ended the year with three jaw-dropping performances. He had 800 all-purpose yards against Fresno State, UCLA, and Texas. Barkley struggled a bit as members of the offensive line went down with injuries, but he certainly had his fair share of “Heisman moments” that left Nittany Lion fans in awe.
Ron Dayne (1999)
The Wisconsin alum had an unbelievable career for the Badgers. He still holds the NCAA record for career rushing yards with 6,397. However, what really gave him the award was his stellar senior season which featured him run wild for over 1,700 yards and 24 touchdowns. Especially because of the day and age Dayne played in, his game was filled with much more power running compared to Barkley’s agility. Dayne and Barkley both had a Rose Bowl appearance during their tenures, but Dayne was successful twice in two wins against UCLA and Stanford to end his career.
Ricky Williams (1998)
At Texas, Williams broke Tony Dorsett’s 22-year-old rushing record before it was again broken by Ron Dayne in 1999. He led the Longhorns to a 9-3 record in 1998, set a total of 21 NCAA records, and received what was then the highest percentage of Heisman votes in the award’s history with 43 percent. While Barkley has set his fair share of records while at Penn State, it’s hard to top what Williams did with a grueling Big 12 schedule. Overall, while Barkley had a career to remember in State College, these players were a little more consistent through each of their twelve games.