BTN.com has selected Penn State senior defensive end Carl Nassib as the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and running back Saquon Barkley as the Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
Additionally, Nassib and junior defensive tackle Austin Johnson have been named to the BTN.com’s All-Big Ten team.
Nassib is a finalist for a quartet of national awards — Lombardi Award (nation’s top lineman or linebacker), Nagurski Trophy (nation’s top defensive player), Bednarik Award (nation’s top defensive player) and Burlsworth Trophy (top player that started his career as a walk-on). Despite playing only six snaps in the last two games because of injury, Nassib leads the Football Bowl Subdivision in sacks (15.5) and forced fumbles (6) and is second in FBS and first in the Big Ten in tackles for loss (19.5). He holds the PSU single-season sacks record.
Barkley broke the Penn State freshman season rushing record with 1,007 yards, surpassing the mark of 1,002 set by D.J. Dozier in 1983. Barkley has five 100-yard rushing performances on the season after clicking off 103 yards at Michigan State on Saturday. Barkley is averaging 6.1 yards per carry.
Johnson has 70 tackles, which is third on the team. He also has 5.5 sacks and 13.0 tackles for loss this season. His 70 stops are third among defensive tackles in FBS.