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Penn State Football: Barkley Named Doak Walker Semifinalist

by on November 17, 2017 2:10 PM

Junior running back Saquon Barkley is among the 11 semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award for the nation’s top running back.

Three finalists for the award will be named Tuesday, November 21. The 2017 Doak Walker Award recipient will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, December 7 on ESPN.

Penn State’s lone Doak Walker Award winner was Larry Johnson in 2002. Ki-Jana Carter and Curtis Enis were finalists for the award in 1994 and 1997, respectively.

The Doak Walker Award was created in 1989 to recognize the nation’s premier running back for his accomplishments on the field, achievement in the classroom and citizenship in the community. It is the only major collegiate football award that requires all candidates to be on schedule to graduate within one year of other students of the same classification. The award is presented annually by the SMU Athletic Forum.

Barkley, who is also a semifinalist for the Walter Camp Award and finalist for the Paul Hornung Award, is second in FBS in all-purpose yards per game with a 184.60 average. He scored at least one touchdown in 15 consecutive games from Oct., 29, 2016 until Oct. 28, 2017, which broke Curtis Enis’ school record of 14-straight games with a score over the 1996 and 1997 seasons. Barkley is 34th in FBS in rushing yards per game (89.9) and 13th in scoring (9.6 ppg). He is one of 11 players in FBS this season with two or more kickoff return touchdowns, which ties the school record held by Chuck Peters (1940), Curt Warner (1980) and Derrick Williams (2008). Barkley’s 30.2 kickoff return average is ninth in FBS.

Barkley is just the first player in Penn State history and fourth in Big Ten history to total 3,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in a career. Barkley has claimed five Big Ten Player of the Week awards (three offense, two special teams) this season. He has nine conference honors (five offensive, two freshman, two special teams) in his career. Barkley’s five career offensive weekly honors are tied for ninth in Big Ten history. Barkley is a four-time Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll selection this season.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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