Recruited as part of the 2015 Nittany Lion’s class, four-star Saquon Barkley was the top Pennsylvania prospect and the 9th best running back in the nation.
Barkley started his Penn State career as a true freshman in 2015, rushing for 1,076 yards and averaging 5.9 yards per carry with 7 touchdowns. That year, Barkley broke Penn State’s freshman season record with 1,076 rushing yards in 2015, and the school season record for all-purpose yards with 1,237. Pretty nice for a freshman.
Barkley’s 2016 performance far surpassed fans’ wildest expectations, with Barkley rushing for 1,496 total yards, 106.9 yards per game for 22 total touchdowns (18 rushing), 132 total points, and, of course, helping propel the Nittany Lions to a Big Ten Championship and a berth in the Rose Bowl.
Barkley led the Big Ten and was no. 5 in the FBS in total touchdowns (22), no.1 in the Big Ten and no.9 nationally in rushing touchdowns (18) and total points (132), and No 1 in the Big Ten and no. 21 nationally in all-purpose yards.
Not only did Saquon break tackles and competitors’ spirits in 2016 but has also come close to breaking a few Penn State records:
- no. 5 on Penn State’s single season rushing yardage chart with 1,496 yards in 2016
- no.4 on the school single-season scoring list with 132 points in 2016
- no. 2 on the school single season all purpose yards list with 1,927 yards in 2016
- 22 total touchdowns (the most since Larry Johnson scored 23 in 2002)
With numbers like that, Barkley racked up recognition and awards, from team MVP and All-American and All-Big Ten first team honors to semifinalist nods for the Maxwell and Doak Walker Awards and being touted as a 2017 Heisman hopeful.
Saquon’s 2016 performance is why the Black Shoe Diaries staff voted him as the BSD top player for 2017, and why most of the top 10 plays for 2016 we chose included his incredible catches and runs:
- No 5: Saquon Barkley’s Touchdown Catch vs Wisconsin
- No. 3 - Saquon Barkley Makes USC’s Entire Defense Look Foolish
- No. 4-Saquon Barkley OT Touchdown Run vs Minnesota
Get excited, people! Only 26 days until we see Saquon again!
Watch Saquon's 79 yard Rose Bowl run again and again and again to tide you over until September.