Penn State Football: Saquon Barkley is 2017 offensive MVP

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Despite not receiving a Heisman Trophy ceremony invite, Penn State football’s Saquon Barkley has more than made his mark on the 2017 season.

Penn State came into the year with high hopes after a shockingly good finish to the 2016 season. The Nittany Lions started off hot, but two hiccups against Ohio State and Michigan State ended their College Football Playoff aspirations.

Penn State had an offense that scored 41.6 points per game which was seventh in the nation. The Nittany Lions were 28th in the country with 453 total yards per game with one of the more balanced attacks in the nation because of the playmaking ability of quarterback Trace McSorley. But the player who was the offensive MVP in 2017 was junior running back Saquon Barkley.

Barkley made plays on the ground, through the air and in special teams. He is what you would call the prototype running back that players in the NFL are currently turning into (see Ezekiel Elliott, Kareem Hunt, David Johnson, Le’Veon Bell, Dalvin Cook, Melvin Gordon and Todd Gurley — just to name a few).

Something that Barkley does that these backs don’t is return kickoffs, which will add another dimension to whichever team drafts him. Penn State has the ultimate Swiss army knife in the backfield.

Barkley’s 2017 stats:

Passing: 2-for-2, 36 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions
Rushing: 199 rushes, 1,134 yards and 16 touchdowns on 5.7 yards per carry
Receiving: 47 receptions, 594 yards and three touchdowns on 12.6 yards per reception
Returns: 15 kick returns, 426 yards and two touchdowns

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Barkley was fourth in Heisman voting with 304 votes and if it wasn’t for a two-game losing streak and a slight end of the season slump for the star, he would’ve had more a chance to win the award. Besides the Heisman votes, he won the Silver Football Award for Big Ten MVP for the second consecutive year which is a rare feat. Now he has another game against No. 11 Washington to display his talents.