It's official. Penn State's Saquon Barkley won't win the 2017 Heisman Trophy.
He was not one of the three Heisman finalists announced Monday night.
Early in the season, the Nittany Lions standout running back was considered the favorite to win the award. His Heisman candidacy reach its pinnacle on Sept. 23, when he rushed for 211 yards and had 94 receiving yards in a pulsating 21-19 prime-time, last-second triumph at Iowa.
However, that was followed by a string of seven games when he surpassed 75 yards rushing just once, which effectively derailed his Heisman hopes.
Barkley finished the regular season with 1,134 yards rushing, averaging 5.7 yards per carry. He also had 47 receptions for 594 yards, averaging 12.6 yards per catch. He also averaged 28.4 yards on 15 kickoff returns, two of which went for touchdowns.
Barkley is second in the nation in all-purpose yards (179.5) and is fifth with 21 touchdowns. He was also 2 for 2 passing with a touchdown.
Despite those statistics, however, Barkley didn't make the final Heisman cut.
The three finalists: Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson of Louisville are Heisman finalists for the second straight year and will be joined in New York for the presentation ceremony by Stanford running back Bryce Love.
The award for most outstanding college football player will be given out Saturday night.
Jackson is trying to become the second player to win two Heismans, joining former Ohio State star Archie Griffin, but Mayfield will come to Manhattan as the clear front-runner. He finished fourth in the Heisman voting in 2015 but was not invited to New York. Last year, he was one of five finalists and finished third behind Jackson and Clemson’s Deshaun Watson.
This season, Mayfield has led the No. 2 Sooners (12-1) to the Big 12 championship and the College Football Playoff. Oklahoma plays Georgia in the Rose Bowl semifinal on Jan. 1. Mayfield leads the nation in efficiency rating at 203.76 and has thrown for 4,340 yards and 41 touchdowns.
Jackson’s numbers have been better than last season in some categories, but Louisville (8-4) has not had the big wins to go with it. With little fanfare, the quarterback is averaging 411 total yards – up from 393 last season— and accounted for 42 touchdowns.
Griffin won back-to-back Heismans for Ohio State in 1974 and ‘75.
Love is second in the nation in rushing at 164.42 yards per game and is averaging 8.32 yards per carry for the 15th-ranked Cardinal. An ankle injury slowed Love the last month of the season, but he still led the nation in rushes of at least 50 yards with 12. He also scored 17 touchdowns.
In addition to Barkley, another notable player who failed to receive an invitation to New York was San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny, who leads the nation in rushing (168.9) and all-purpose yards (224.8).