Nassib, Johnson, Barkley Earn BTN.com All-Conference Honors
Three Nittany Lions were honored in BTN.com’s All-Big Ten football team and awards. Defensive lineman Carl Nassib was named the conference’s player of the year and earned a spot on the all-defensive team. Fellow big man and defensive lineman Austin Johnson was also named to the team. Freshman running back Saquon Barkley earned conference freshman of the year honors after breaking the school’s freshman rushing record.
No Nittany Lion was named to the conference’s all-offensive team.
Nassib, a finalist for the Lomardi, Nagurski, Bednarik, and Burlsworh awards, led the nation in sacks despite effectively missing the final two games of the regular season due to injury.His 15.5 sacks is coupled with six forced fumbles, and he’s second in FBS and first in the Big Ten in tackles for loss with 19.5. Nassib also set a Penn State record for most sacks in a season.
Johnson’s 70 tackles is both third on the team and third in the nation at his position, and the 6-foot-4, 323-pound defensive lineman clocked 5.5 sacks and 13.0 tackles for loss this season. Behind Nassib, Johnson’s 13.0 tackles for loss are second on the squad. Johnson’s highlight of the year came on a 71-yard fumble return for a touchdown against San Diego State.
Barkley, despite effectively missing the first two games and then two more due to an injury, recorded a freshman season unlike no other freshman back at Penn State. His 1,007 yards set a school freshman record, and he recorded five 100-yard rushing games. He’s No. 28 in the nation with 6.1 yards per carry, and leads the conference with 13 rushes of more than 20 yards. Finally, his seven rushing scores are tied for the most by a Penn State freshman.