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Penn State Football: Saquon Barkley Named Pepsi NFL Rookie Of The Year

by on January 31, 2019 1:24 PM

Former Penn State running back Saquon Barkley was named Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year on Thursday morning.

Barkley lit up NFL defenses throughout the 2018 season, rushing for 1,307 yards and gaining 721 more through the air while finding the end zone 15 times on a 5-11 New York Giants team. He became the third first-year player in league history to accumulate more than 2,000 yards of total offense, joining Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson and Edgerrin James.

The star running back beat out Cleveland’s duo of Baker Mayfield and Nick Chubb, Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard, and Denver running back Phillip Lindsay to claim his first major individual honor in the NFL. The winner of the award was decided by a fan vote.

Mayfield was named the overall rookie of the year by the Pro Football Writers’ Association of America, but Barkley was named the organization’s offensive rookie of the year. The Associated Press will announce its offensive, defensive, and overall rookie of the year award winners at the NFL Honors, which begin at 9 p.m. Saturday and will be broadcast on CBS.

The No. 2 overall pick in last spring’s NFL Draft is the first Penn Stater to win the award since the league began giving out an overall rookie of the year award in 2002. He’s the first New York Giant to win the award since Jeremy Shockey in 2002, and he’s the first Nittany Lion to win any kind of rookie of the year award since the AP and PFWA named Franco Harris its best first-year player on offense in 1972.


Mikey Mandarino is a staff writer for Onward State.
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