Penn State Running Back Saquon Barkley Makes A Strong Case For The Heisman
Quarterbacks are always the top of the class when it comes to preseason Heisman favorites. And while that’s especially true this season, Saquon Barkley might be able to influence a few voters come December.
Barkley, a Junior running back from Penn State, is one of the preseason frontrunners for the Heisman Trophy. He’s arguably the most dominant rusher in the Nation. Barkley is the best running back to come out of Penn State since Larry Johnson in 2002. ( Johnson finished third in Heisman voting that season.) And If you’re looking to place odds on a potential non-quarterback to win College Football’s most prestigious award, look no further.
It’s amazing the career Barkley has already had. We forget easily that he’s only a Junior in college. Starting games as a true freshman, Barkley was exposed to the play of the Big 10 early on during his collegiate career. It’s experience that has proven to be valuable as he makes his mark towards college football immortality.
There really isn’t anything bad about Barkley’s game. His one major weakness isn’t related to him at all, it’s a putrid offensive line. Despite this, Barkley managed to earn Big 10 Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2016. He still accounted for 249 scrimmage yards at the Rose Bowl. Imagine if the O-line of Penn State solidifies itself in 2017. What kind of season can we expect from him?
With 1,496 rushing yards in 2016, Barkely is on the path for 1,600. Of course getting to that mark isn’t an easy accomplishment. As the Nittany Lions rely more on Barkley this season, the opportunity for increased yardage will go up. Not to mention, he’s an all-around back. So if 1,600 rushing yards is out of the question, he’ll be a threat for 2,000 all-purpose yards.
Unfortunately, Barkley can’t lay claim to being the best just yet. There will be challengers to Barkley’s reign as top RB in the country. Bo Scarbrough ( Alabama ) and Derrius Guice ( LSU ) will prove to be worthy competition. Although, Neither have the ability to catch passes out of the backfield like Barkley. This just makes the case for the Penn State Nittany Lion even more convincing.
Saquon Barkley will be one of the Finalists for the Heisman Trophy. Yeah, he’s got the aforementioned running backs to contend with. There’s also QB’s Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson, and Sam Darnold in the mix that will make things interesting. But, as we’ve seen the last two seasons, Barkley is everything you want in a Heisman Candidate.