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Saquon Barkley Nominated For Walter Payton NFL Man Of The Year Award

Former Penn State football star Saquon Barkley is the New York Giants’ nominee for this year’s Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, the team announced Tuesday.

Each year, each NFL team nominates one player for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which honors an individual who not only excels on the field but also gives back to their community through service and volunteer work.

Barkley has made himself busy this year both on and off the field. On the field, he has excelled. The Pennsylvania native has had quite the year, putting up 1,055 rushing yards and eight touchdowns through 12 games.

Off the field, Barkley has kept just as busy. The Giants’ press release notes how the Nittany Lion partnered with St. Luke’s University Health to found the “Saquon Barkley Center of Excellence,” which provides access to health support, academic assistance, and physical activity opportunities to youth near Barkley’s hometown in Pennsylvania.

In his hometown of Nazareth, Barkley helped sponsor a back-to-school event that provided school supplies and backpacks for about 300 kids in need. Additionally, he helped organize a drive that provided turkeys and other meals to families for Thanksgiving and another that provided 150 pairs of sneakers to children in need.

These examples only scratch the surface of Barkley’s extensive efforts to improve communities in need this year. Between working at soup kitchens, volunteering at homeless shelters, and his involvement with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Barkley has made a difference in the communities that he has touched. You can read more about why he was nominated and what other efforts he made here.

While in Happy Valley, the Penn State legend totaled 3,843 rushing yards for an average of 5.7 yards per attempt. He scored 54 touchdowns as a Nittany Lion, all over the course of just three seasons.

Following his time at Penn State, Barkley was drafted No. 2 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, and the rest is history. During his time with the Giants, Barkley has rushed for 3,992 yards and 27 touchdowns, continuing his dominance from college.

In honor of his nomination, Barkley will wear the NFL Man of the Year decal on his helmet for the rest of the season. The Nittany Lion will be honored as a nominee in the week leading up to the Super Bowl.

Jason Cabinda was the most recent Nittany Lion to be nominated for the award with his nomination last season. The only Penn Stater to ever win the award was Steelers legend Franco Harris, who won the award in 1976.

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About the Author

Mikey DeAngelis

Mikey DeAngelis is a junior majoring in film production who is also serving as one of Onward State's visual editors. During his free time, he enjoys making content for his YouTube channel. Mikey loves Philly sports, traveling and hiking in National Parks, and watching movies. To reach Mikey, feel free to reach out on Twitter (@mikey_deangelis) or by email ([email protected]).

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