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Saquon Barkley Named Big Ten Offensive Player Of The Year

Saquon Barkley is your 2016 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year.

The sophomore running back beat out Ohio State’s Curtis Samuel, Minnesota’s Rodney Smith, and Northwestern’s Austin Carr, among others, for the award on Wednesday night. He also captured Big Ten Running Back of the Year honors and a unanimous First-Team All-Big Ten nod.

Barkley finished the regular season with 1,219 rushing yards, 327 receiving yards, and 17 touchdowns (two receiving) — all of which marked new career-highs for the Coplay, Pa., native. He was forced to leave the Michigan State win with an apparent ankle injury, but James Franklin noted at his Tuesday press conference that he expects Barkley to play this Saturday in Indianapolis.

Barkley led the Big Ten in touchdowns and trailed only Northwestern star Justin Jackson (1,300) for the most rushing yards in the conference. Jackson toted the rock 38 more times than Barkley this season, though. Barkley and the Nittany Lions will face another major test in Wisconsin’s stout defense in the Big Ten Championship. Surely, Joe Moorhead has a few tricks up his sleeve to try and thwart the Badgers and Barkley will play a big role in accomplishing that even if he’s not quite 100 percent.

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About the Author

Ethan Kasales

Ethan’s a senior journalism major who grew up in Lemont, a few minutes from campus. When he’s not covering Penn State sports, you can usually find him golfing or teaching snowboarding at Tussey Mountain. Feel free to email him at [email protected]

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