Penn State's Saquon Barkley wins Hornung Award as college football's most versatile player

(Allentown) Morning Call (TNS)
  • Penn State running back Saquon Barkley has won the Paul Hornung Award.
  • The award goes to the most versatile player in college football.
  • Barkley accounted for 22 touchdowns this season in four different ways.

Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, who accounted for 22 touchdowns in four different ways this season, won the Paul Hornung Award as the most versatile player in college football.

Penn State's Saquon Barkley is the AP Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year for a second straight season. FILE PHOTO

Barkley is the first Penn State player to win the award and second consecutive from the Big Ten. Former Michigan player Jabrill Peppers won in 2016.

"It is an honor to win an award like the Paul Hornung Award for the most versatile player in college football," Barkley said in a statement. "I am so appreciative of Mr. Hornung and the Louisville Sports Commission for selecting me for this very special honor. I have to give a lot of the credit to my teammates and coaches, they are the reason that I am in position to win this award and I could not have done it without them. I also want to thank our amazing fans at Penn State.”

Barkley had 16 rushing touchdowns during a season in which he scored every 12 times he touched the ball. He also caught three touchdown passes, returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and completed one pass for a score.

Barkley, who led the Big Ten in scoring, is one of five players in the Football Bowl Subdivision to score touchdowns on plays longer than 80 yards. He tied for second nationally with four plays of 80 yards or longer.

The Whitehall High graduate is also a finalist for the Walter Camp, Maxwell and Doak Walker awards, which will be announced Thursday.

The Paul Hornung Award, given annual by the Louisville Sports Commission, is named for the Hall of Fame player who is considered the most versatile in NFL history. Hornung, the 1956 Heisman Trophy winner, was a quarterback who played every position in the offensive backfield for the Irish. He also punted and kicked, returned kickoffs and started at safety on defense.

Hornung set an NFL scoring record with the Green Bay Packers in 1961 that lasted for 46 years. He is a member of the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

Past winners of the Paul Hornung Award include New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr., Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey and Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche.

“I couldn't be more proud of Saquon and everything he has accomplished at Penn State,” coach James Franklin said in a statement. “In my 22 years of coaching, I have never coached or seen a player who can affect the game the way Saquon Barkley does. The Hornung Award is not only honoring the most versatile player in college football, but is also recognizing one of the best people in college football."

Barkley also honored by AP: Barkley was also honored by the Associated Press on Wednesday as the Big Ten's Offensive Player of the Year for the second straight season. Iowa linebacker Josey Jewell is the conference's defensive player of the year.

Wisconsin took the other two top Big Ten honors. Freshman running back Jonathan Taylor was voted newcomer of the year after leading the league in rushing by a wide margin. Paul Chryst was named coach of the year after guiding the Badgers to a 12-0 regular season prior to their loss in the Big Ten championship game.

Conference champion Ohio State and Wisconsin each had seven players on the AP All-Big Ten first team.

Barkley held down two All-Big Ten first-team spots, as a running back and all-purpose player. 

PSU safety Marcus Allen was a first-team AP all-conference selection on defense. Earning second-team recognition for the Nittany Lions were quarterback Trace McSorley, tight end Mike Gesicki, wideout DaeSean Hamilton and punter Blake Gillikin.

Jewell, a second-team pick last year, averages a Big Ten-leading 11.4 tackles. He has 13.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, two interceptions and 11 pass breakups.

Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson, the national co-leader with seven interceptions, was the only unanimous first-team pick.

Quarterback J.T. Barrett, center Billy Price and defensive end Tyquan Lewis – all of Ohio State — and Barkley are repeat first-team selections. Price made the team as a guard last year.

Indiana kicker Griffin Oakes is first-team kicker for the second time in three years. Oakes was not on the first or second team last year.

The All-Big Ten team was selected by 25 writers and broadcasters who cover the conference.


The Associated Press All-Big Ten Conference football team, with position, name, school, height, weight, class and hometown:



WR – Simmie Cobbs, Indiana, 6-4, 220, Jr., Oak Park, Illinois.

WR—D.J. Moore, Maryland, 5-11, 215, Jr., Philadelphia.

T – Michael Deiter, Wisconsin, 6-6, 328, Jr., Curtice, Ohio.

T – Jamarco Jones, Ohio State, 6-5, 310, Sr., Chicago.

G – Michael Jordan, Ohio State, 6-7, 310, So., Canton, Michigan.

G – Beau Benzschawel, Wisconsin, 6-6, 317, Jr., Grafton, Wisconsin.

C – Billy Price, Ohio State, 6-4, 312, Sr., Austintown, Ohio.

TE – Troy Fumagalli, Wisconsin, 6-6, 248, Sr., Aurora, Illinois.

QB – J.T. Barrett, Ohio State, 6-2, 220, Sr., Wichita Falls, Texas.

RB – Saquon Barkley, Penn State, 5-11, 230, Jr., Coplay, Pennsylvania.

RB – Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin, 5-11, 214, Fr., Salem, New Jersey.

PK – Griffin Oakes, Indiana, 5-10, 198, Greenwood, Indiana.

All-Purpose – Saquon Barkley, Penn State, 5-11, 230, Jr., Coplay, Pennsylvania.


DE – Nick Bosa, Ohio State, 6-4, 270, So., Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

DE – Tyquan Lewis, Ohio State, 6-4, 265, Sr., Tarboro, North Carolina.

DT – Maurice Hurst, Michigan, 6-2, 280, Sr., Westwood, Massachusetts.

DT – Dre’Mont Jones, Ohio State, 6-3, 295, So., Cleveland.

LB – Josey Jewell, Iowa, 6-2, 236, Sr., Decorah, Iowa.

LB – T.J. Edwards, Wisconsin, 6-1, 244, Jr., Lake Villa, Illinois.

LB – Tegray Scales, Indiana, 6-0, 230, Sr., Cincinnati.

CB – Josh Jackson, Iowa, 6-1, 192, Jr., Corinth, Texas.

CB – Nick Nelson, Wisconsin, 5-11, 208, Jr., Glenarden, Maryland.

S – Marcus Allen, Penn State, 6-2, 207, Sr., Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

S – D’Cota Dixon, Wisconsin, 5-10, 204, Jr., Oak Hill, Florida.

P – Ryan Anderson, Rutgers, 6-1, 203, Sr., DeWitt, Michigan.




WR – Stanley Morgan Jr., Nebraska, 6-1, 195, Jr., New Orleans.

WR – DaeSean Hamilton, Penn State, 6-1, 206, Sr., Fredericksburg, Virginia.

T – David Edwards, Wisconsin, So., 6-7, 315, Downers Grove, Illinois.

T – Mason Cole, Michigan, 6-5, 297, Sr., Tarpon Springs, Florida.

G – Sean Welsh, Iowa, 6-3, 295, Sr., Springboro, Ohio.

G – Ben Bredeson, Michigan, 6-5, 308, So., Hartland, Wisconsin.

C – Brian Allen, Michigan State, 6-2, 302, Sr., Hinsdale, Illinois.

TE – Mike Gesicki, Penn State, 6-6, 250, Sr., Manahawkin, New Jersey.

QB – Trace McSorley, Penn State, 6-0, 195, Jr., Ashburn, Virginia.

RB – Justin Jackson, Northwestern, 5-11, 200, Sr., Carol Stream, Illinois.

RB – J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State, 5-10, 208, Fr., La Grange, Texas.

PK – Rafael Gaglianone, Wisconsin, 5-11, 232, Jr., Sao Paulo, Brazil.

All-Purpose – JD Spielman, Nebraska, 5-9, 180, Fr., Eden Prairie, Minnesota.


DE – Rashan Gary, Michigan, 6-5, 281, So., Plainfield, New Jersey.

DE – Chase Winovich, Michigan, 6-3, 253, Sr., Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania.

DE—Conor Sheehy, Wisconsin, 6-4, 293, Sr., Milwaukee.

DT – Gelen Robinson, Purdue, 6-1, 280, Sr., Schererville, Indiana.

LB – Paddy Fisher, Northwestern, 6-4, 245, Fr., Katy, Texas.

LB – Devin Bush, Michigan, 5-11, 225, So., Pembroke Pines, Florida.

LB – Khaleke Hudson, Michigan, 6-0, 205, So., McKeesport, Pennsylvania.

LB – Garret Dooley, Wisconsin, 6-3, 246, Sr., Rochester, Illinois.

CB – Denzel Ward, Ohio State, 5-11, 191, Jr., Macedonia, Ohio.

CB – Lavert Hill, Michigan, 5-11, 177, So., Detroit.

S – Godwin Igwebuike, Northwestern, 6-0, 212, Sr., Pickerington, Ohio.

S—David Dowell, Michigan State, 6-1, 191, So., Jr., North Ridgeville, Ohio.

P – Blake Gillkin, Penn State, 6-2, 195, So., Smyrna, Georgia.


Offensive Player of the Year – Saquon Barkley, Penn State.

Defensive Player of the Year – Josey Jewell, Iowa.

Coach of the Year – Paul Chryst, Wisconsin.

Newcomer of the Year – Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin.


Voting Panel:

Bob Asmussen, Champaign (Illinois) News-Gazette

Lee Barfknecht, Omaha (Nebraska) World-Herald

Bret Beherns, WCIA-Radio (Champaign, Illinois)

Mike Carmin, Lafayette (Indiana) Journal & Courier

Graham Couch, Lansing (Michigan) State Journal

Dave Eanet, WGN-Radio (Chicago)

Justin Gaard, KFAN-Radio (Minneapolis)

Parker Gabriel, Lincoln (Nebraska) Journal Star

Jason Galloway, (Wisconsin)

Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune

Mike Jacques, WMTV-TV (Madison, Wisconsin)

Randy Johnson, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Chad Leistikow, Des Moines (Iowa) Register

Tim May, Columbus Dispatch

John McGonigal, Centre Daily Times (State College, Pennsylvania)

Aaron McMann, Arbor

Mike Miller, Bloomington (Indiana) Herald-Times

Marc Morehouse, Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Gazette

Josh Newman, Asbury Park (New Jersey) Press

Zachary Osterman, Indianapolis Star

Greg Pickel, Penn Live

Nicholas Piotrowicz, Toledo (Ohio) Blade

Keith Sargeant, NJ Advance Media

Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press

Roman Stubbs, Washington Post