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PSU in the NFL

Former PSU RB Saquon Barkley up for Walter Payton Man of the Year Award

Saquon Barkley is on of the Penn State players in the NFL playoffs
Photo by New York Giants: Saquon Barkley

Former PSU RB Saquon Barkley is the New York Giants’ nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

The Man of the Year Award, named for Hall of Fame RB Walter Payton, recognizes the NFL player who best displays “excellence on and off the field.”

Barkley had already been recognized for his community service. Earlier this year, he won a Hometown Hero Award and was presented witn the award at the United Way of New York City’s 2022 Gridiron Gala. He helped United Way raise $2.4 million for New York City children and families.

Oh, he’s also pretty good at football.

This season, Barkley, who was out for all but two games of the 2020 season thanks to a torn ACL and struggled to get back to his old self in 2021 (he averaged less than four yards per carry for the first time in his career), has had a big year.

Through 12 games, Barkley is fourth in the league in rushing. He’s added eight rushing touchdowns and 241 receiving yards. Barkley’s individual bounce back is arguably the biggest reason the Giants as a team have bounced back. New York, which went 4-13 last season, is 7-4-1 in 2022 and currently occupies the No. 6 seed in the NFC playoff picture.

Penn State fans know Barkley best for what he did before getting to the league. He ended his Penn State career (2015-17) second behind Evan Royster on the school’s all-time rushing list.

Barkley’s also Penn State’s record-holder for rushing touchdowns (43) and is second on the list in total touchdowns (53). He graduated from Penn State this past spring.

Barkley is one of 32 nominees for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. There is one from each NFL team.

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