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Penn Staters Micah Parsons, Saquon Barkley Lose Out in NFL Awards Voting

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Micah Parsons

Ex-Penn State players Micah Parsons and Saquon Barkley lost out in Thursday night’s NFL Awards.

Parsons was up for NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Barkley was up for Comeback Player of the Year.

San Francisco 49er Nick Bosa and Seattle Seahawk Geno Smith won each respective award.

Penn State is well-represented during Super Bowl week this year. Miles Sanders of the Philadelphia Eagles will be playing in Sunday’s big game, and eliminated Barkley’s New York Giants on the road to the Super Bowl, pounding their NFC East rival 38-7 in last month’s divisional round in Philly.

Barkley tore his ACL in Week 2 of the 2020 season. That caused him to miss almost all of the year. He struggled to regain his form in 2021, gaining 593 yards and averaging less than four yards per carry over 13 games.

He was much better this past season, going off for 1,312 yards (fourth in the NFL). Barkley averaged 4.4 yards per carry and scoring 10 touchdowns. Barkley led the Giants to the postseason for the first time since 2016, which was the same year he led Penn State to its most recent Big Ten Championship.

Despite not winning the award, Parsons has been nominated for Defensive Player of the Year in each of his first two seasons.

Parsons has been an All-Pro performer in each of his two years as well.

He 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. This year, his Cowboys fell to the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round the day after Barkley’s Giants were eliminated.

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.

Also in the NFL Awards show, Barkley was also nominated for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.

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