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PSU in the NFL

Penn Staters Saquon Barkley, Micah Parsons up for AP NFL Awards

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

A pair of ex-Penn State players, Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants and Micah Parsons of the Dallas Cowboys, are nominated for AP NFL Awards.

Barkley is one of three finalists, along with San Francisco 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey and Seattle Seahawks QB Geno Smith, that’s up for AP Comeback Player of the Year.

Parsons is one of three finalists for AP Defensive Player of the Year, along with San Francisco 49ers DE Nick Bosa and Kansas City Chiefs DT Chris Jones.

Barkley had a career resurgence in 2022. He missed almost all of 2020 with a torn ACL and didn’t regain his top form in 2021. This season, Barkley led the Giants to the playoffs, where they hadn’t been since 2016. The Penn State great ended the season fourth in the NFL in rushing with 1,312 yards, averaged 4.4 yards per carry and ran for 10 touchdowns. Parsons followed up a monster rookie year by continuing to be one of the NFL’s best players. He ended 2022 with 13.5 sacks, good for seventh in the league, 65 tackles (42 solo) and three forced fumbles. Parsons finished second to TJ Watt in the Defensive Player of the Year voting as a rookie last season and is again a finalist.

Neither Barkley or Parsons will be playing in the Super Bowl. After upsetting the third-seeded Vikings in Minnesota during Wildcard Weekend, the Giants took a beating from the top-seeded Eagles in Philadelphia this past weekend, falling 38-7. The Cowboys played a much closer game in San Francisco this past weekend but lost to QB Brock Purdy and the 49ers, 19-12.

Barkley and Parsons were both first-round picks after stellar careers at Penn State. Barkley went second overall to the Giants in 2018, and Parsons went 12th overall to the Cowboys three years later.

Now, both are up for NFL Awards for the same season.

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