PSU’s Barkley named Big Ten Offensive Player of Year

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UNIVERSITY PARK – Penn State sophomore running back Saquon Barkley (Coplay, Pa.) today was recognized as the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and the Big Ten Running Back of the Year. Barkley was named to the All-Big Ten first team by the coaches and media, which made him a unanimous first team choice.

Sophomore quarterback Trace McSorley (Ashburn, Va.) garnered All-Big Ten second team accolades from both the coaches and the media, while Mike Gesicki (Manahawkin, N.J.) was a second team selection by the media and honorable mention pick by the coaches.

Joining Barkley, McSorley and Gesicki as postseason honorees are wide receiver Chris Godwin (Middletown, Del.) and center Brian Gaia (Pasadena, Md.). Godwin was an All-Big Ten third team honoree for the media and honorable mention for the coaches, while Gaia made the honorable mention list for the coaches and media,

Saquon Barkley, RB, So./So., 5-11, 223, Coplay, Pa./Whitehall
• Is the eighth sophomore to win Offensive Player of the Year in Big Ten history, most recently by Braxton Miller in 2012.
• Is one of 17 running backs to win Offensive Player of the Year in Big Ten history.
• Is the third-straight running back to win Offensive Player of the Year (Melvin Gordon, WIS; Ezekiel Elliott, OSU).
• Is the fourth Nittany Lion to win Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, joining Kerry Collins (1994), Curtis Enis (1997) and Michael Robinson (2005).
• Is the first Penn State player to win Running Back of the Year (award established in 2011).
• Is the first sophomore to win Running Back of the Year in Big Ten history.
• Is the first Penn State running back to earn All-Big Ten first team honors since Evan Royster in 2009.
• Second career All-Big Ten honor (second team in 2015).
• Sits No. 1 in the Big Ten and No. 13 in the FBS in total touchdowns (17).
• Is No. 1 in the Big Ten and No. 30 nationally in all-purpose yards (130.25 ypg).
• Is No. 12 nationally and is tied for the Big Ten lead in rushing touchdowns (15).
• Ranks No. 3 in the Big Ten and is No. 33 in the FBS in rushing yards per game (101.6 ypg).
• Is No. 5 in the Big Ten and No. 74 nationally in yards per carry (5.35 ypc).
• Is No. 37 nationally and No. 4 in the conference in scoring (8.5 ppg).
• Ranks 14th on Penn State’s career rushing list with 2,295 yards.
• Is just the eighth player in Penn State history with multiple 1,000-yard seasons.
• Sits No. 15 on the career rushing touchdowns chart (22).
• Has 36 rushes of 10 or more yards in his career in 2016.
• Had a streak of 14 consecutive games with at least one rush of 20 yards snapped at Rutgers (11/19), a streak that was the second-longest in college football in the last 20 years (19 – LaMichael James, Oregon (2008-10).
• Became the first Penn State player since Larry Johnson in 2002 (289 yards vs. Michigan State and 327 yards at Indiana) to post back-to-back game with 200-plus all-purpose yards, gaining 211 vs. Iowa (11/5) and 277 at Purdue (10/29).
• Became the 15th different Penn Stater with a 200-yard rushing game vs. Maryland (10/8) with 202 yards.
• After posting 207 yards on the ground at Purdue (10/29), he is the first Penn Stater with multiple 200-yard rushing games since Larry Johnson had four in 2002.
• Owns the sophomore scoring record with 102 points, passing Kevin Kelly’s previous mark of 96 points (2006).
• Broke the sophomore rushing touchdowns record with his 14th score of 2016 at Rutgers (11/19) in the third quarter and now has 15 rushing scores.
• Named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 10 after his 200-yard rushing performance vs. Maryland.
• Named CBS National Player of the Week and Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week after totaling 277 all-purpose yards at Purdue (10/29).
• Became the first two-time B1G Offensive Player of the Week since Daryll Clark won the award twice in 2009.
• Named to the Pro Football Focus National Team of the Week following his performance at Purdue (10/29).
• Named Rose Bowl Game Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week after piling up 211 all-purpose yards vs. Iowa (11/5).
• Is currently No. 12 on the single season rushing yardage chart with 1,219 yards.
• Ranks No. 9 on Penn State’s single season all-purpose yards list with 1,563 yards, the highest total since Tony Hunt’s 1,654 yards in 2006.
Trace McSorley, QB, Jr./So., 6-0, 205, Ashburn, Va./Briar Woods
• First all-conference selection.
• First Penn State quarterback to earn All-Big Ten first or second team honors since Daryll Clark (first team) in 2009.
• Leads all FBS passers in yards per completion (16.17 ypc).
• Leads the Big Ten and is No. 23 in the FBS in passing efficiency (150.9).
• Sits No. 2 in the Big Ten and No. 40 nationally in total offense (279.0 ypg).
• Ranks No. 37 nationally and No. 3 in the Big Ten in passing yards per game (248.0).
• Is No. 37 in the NCAA and No. 2 in the Big Ten with 21 passing touchdowns.
• Ranks No. 9 in the FBS and No. 1 in the Big Ten in yards per pass attempt (9.10 ypa).
• Became just the third Penn State quarterback to register more than 400 yards of total offense in a game, logging 408 total offense yards (335 passing, 73 rushing) vs. Minnesota (10/1).
• One of five quarterbacks in Penn State history with multiple 300-yard passing games, joining Christian Hackenberg (9), Matt McGloin (6), Kerry Collins (4) and Daryll Clark (3).
• Owns nine 200-yard passing games – including four 300-yard passing games – to rank tied for No. 9 on the career ledger and No. 3 on the season ledger.
• Has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 13 straight games, the longest streak since Matt McGloin threw at least one touchdown pass in 13 straight games spanning the 2011-12 seasons.
• Named to the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week after his showing vs. Maryland (10/8).
• Named to the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week after his showing at Rutgers (11/19).
• Following his effort vs. Michigan State (11/26), was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, the Rose Bowl Game Big Ten Player of the Week, earned a Helmet Sticker from ESPN’s College Football Final and was one of eight quarterbacks named to the Manning Award Stars of the Week list.
• Is just the fourth Penn State quarterback to lead his team to 10 wins in his first year as the starting quarterback, joining Daryll Clark in 2008 (11), Tom Shuman in 1973 (12-0) and Chuck Burkhart in 1968 (11-0).
• Owns the Penn State’s single season total offense record (3,348).
• Ranks No. 4 on the Nittany Lions’ single season passing charts (2,976).
• Is No. 10 on the Penn State single season pass attempts (372) and No. 11 on the completions charts (184).
• The six rushing touchdowns are the most by a Penn State quarterback since Daryll Clark had seven in 2009.
• His 317 rushing yards in 2016 are the most by a Penn State quarterback since Michael Robinson (806 yds) in 2005.
• Has six games with a passing and rushing touchdown in 2016, which ranks second nationally to Lamar Jackson of Louisville (9).
Mike Gesicki, TE, Jr./Jr., 6-6, 252, Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional
• First all-conference selection.
• First Penn State tight end to earn All-Big Ten first or second team honors since Kyle Carter (first team) in 2012.
• Leads the Big Ten and is No. 6 nationally in receptions by a tight end (44).
• Ranks No. 1 in the B1G and No. 7 in the FBS in receiving yards by a tight end (610).
• Owns the single season record for receptions by a tight end with 44, passing Andrew Quarless (41, 2009), and yardage by a tight end at 610, besting Mickey Shuler’s single season record of 600 receiving yards (1977).
• Has four or more catches in seven of the last 10 games.
Chris Godwin, WR, Jr./Jr., 6-1, 205, Middletown, Del./Middletown
• Second career All-Big Ten honor (second team in 2015).
• Is tied for No. 6 on the career touchdown receptions chart with 16 scoring grabs in his three seasons.
• Is the eighth player in PSU history to eclipse 2,000 career receiving yards.
• Ranks No. 5 on the career receiving yards list with 2,184 yards.
• Sits No. 8 on the career receptions charts (141).
• Is one of 14 players to eclipse the 100 career catch mark, joining teammate DaeSean Hamilton and current assistant coach Terry Smith (108; 1989-91).
• Godwin and Hamilton are just the second set of teammates with 100-plus career receptions, joining Derrick Williams, Jordan Norwood and Deon Butler (2005-08).
• Owns eight career 100-yard receiving games, with two in 2016, five coming in 2015 and the other coming against Boston College in the 2014 New Era Pinstripe Bowl.
• Has at least one catch in 36 of 38 career games, including a stretch of 19-straight games with from 2014-16.
• Made four or more grabs in 20 of his last 26 games dating back to 2014.
• His nine receiving scores this season rank tied for No. 5 on the Penn State single season charts.
Brian Gaia, C, Gr./Sr., 6-3, 295, Pasadena, Md./Gilman School
• First all-conference selection.
• Is the only player of the offensive line to start every game this season in the same position.
• Offense is averaging 251.0 passing yards and 178.7 rushing yards per game this season.
• Offense ranks 30th in FBS in scoring offense (22.8).

On Tuesday, Penn State’s James Franklin was named the Dave McClain Big Ten Coach of the Year as selected by the conference’s media, while kicker Tyler Davis (St. Charles, Ill.) was selected to the All-Big Ten first team by the coaches and second team by the media. In addition, defensive end Garrett Sickels (Red Bank, N.J.) garnered second-team All-Big Ten accolades from the coaches and third-team honors from the media.

Additionally, defensive end Evan Schwan (Harrisburg, Pa.) was selected to the All-Big Ten third team by both the coaches and media, while linebacker Jason Cabinda (Flemington, N.J.) and Marcus Allen (Upper Marlboro, Md.) each claimed third team honors from the coaches and were named to the media’s honorable mention team. Also on the Big Ten honorable mention squad were senior linebacker Brandon Bell (Mays Landing, N.J.), true freshman punter Blake Gillikin (Smyrna, Ga.), junior defensive tackle Parker Cothren (Huntsville, Ala.) and sophomore cornerback John Reid (Mount Laurel, N.J.). Senior long snapper Tyler Yazujian (Royersford, Pa.) is Penn State’s sportsmanship selection.

Penn State finished the regular season 10-2 overall and 8-1 in Big Ten play after the victory over the Spartans. The Big Ten Championship Game is slated for Saturday with an 8:17 p.m. kick on FOX. The game will also air on the Penn State Sports Network and GoPSUsports.com (6:30 p.m. airtime). The Nittany Lions’ bowl destination will be announced Sunday.