Saquon Barkley Adds To Heisman Resume Against Georgia State
After week three, Saquon Barkley’s Heisman stock is on its way up after a dominant performance against Georgia State. Barkley only had 47 yards on the ground, but compiled an eye-popping 142 yards and a touchdown through the air.
According to ESPN.com’s expert rankings, Barkley sits at No. 4 on the Heisman list behind UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, Louisville quarterback and 2016 Heisman winner Lamar Jackson, and Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield. He sits ahead of preseason Heisman favorite and USC quarterback Sam Darnold after the Trojans needed overtime to take down Texas — a notion that likely aided Penn State’s leapfrogging efforts against USC in the AP Top 25.
Barkley’s stats on the ground this weekend may not have been otherworldly, but his receiving stats are what helped him climb up the board slightly. The Heisman voting process can be a confusing one; how much does team success factor in versus a player’s overall statistics? The answer to that question is subjective — Jackson captured the Heisman last season despite his team finishing 9-4.
The Heisman trophy is as much about semantics as it is anything else. A down performance can hinder a prospect’s candidacy more than anything else. While Sam Darnold posted 397 yards and three touchdowns, two picks and a completion percentage less than 60 doesn’t look great on paper. Furthermore, his TD/interception ratio goes to 7/6 — a statistic that doesn’t necessarily bode well for the young gunslinger.
Another important tidbit that came from the weekend is one of the vaunted Heisman moment. Every worthy prospect will have one, and it’s safe to say Barkley produced hopefully his first of many on the season with his first quarter 85-yard touchdown scamper on 3rd and 12.
Only a certain caliber of player is able to pull off a run like that, and Barkley is that type of player. Naysayers will point out that the play occurred during a lopsided victory against a lesser opponent, but lest I remind you that one of Lamar Jackson’s famous Heisman moments came in a 62-28 beatdown of Syracuse — a team that would finish the season 4-8.
Here’s the run, for those who don’t remember as fondly:
It may still be early in the season, but there’s no reason Saquon Barkley shouldn’t continue his ascension up Heisman polls as he continues to blaze his own trail in 2017. This weekend’s primetime matchup on the road against Iowa should be an early indicator of where he, along with his team, both stand.