Penn State running back Saquon Barkley wins 2017 Paul Hornung Award
The award is given annually to the most versatile player in college football.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Penn State running back Saquon Barkley was named the 2017 Paul Hornung Award winner Wednesday for being the nation’s most versatile player.
Barkley is the eighth recipient of the prestigious award. He and his family will be honored on March 7, 2018, at the annual Paul Hornung Award Banquet at the Galt House in downtown Louisville.
“It’s an honor to win an award like the Paul Hornung Award for the most versatile player in college football," Barkley said. “I am so appreciative of Mr. Hornung and the Louisville Sports Commission for selecting me for this very special honor.”
Hornung weighed in on the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year on Wednesday morning.
“Well, he can do everything," Hornung said. "He qualifies as far as we were concerned with what my award stands for. It's not only an award for being a good football player, but you got to be talented enough to do other things. And he can do them.
“He catches the ball, he runs the ball, he blocks, returns kick offs, punts, the whole deal. So he fits right in with our way of thinking. We're happy to have had the opportunity to select him. We're happy he'll be here for the dinner.”
Hornung also weighed in on the 2017 Heisman Trophy race. As a Notre Dame Heisman Trophy winner in 1956, Hornung gets to cast a yearly vote. The Green Bay Packer Hall of Famer said he’s all in on Louisville’s Lamar Jackson.
“I voted for him," he said. "I thought, again, he was the best football player in the country, so why not? You see, there are a lot of people in this voting who will not vote for him because he won it last year.
“Well, I'm not that way. We get a vote, and I voted for him. What we hear around New York is he's not going to win this trophy, I don't know if that happens or not, I hope he does. But this is the best football player that's come along in a long, long time.”
Jackson is one of three finalists invited to New York City. He will join Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and Standford running back Bryce Love.
The Heisman Trophy ceremony starts at 8 p.m. at the Play Station Theatre in New York City.
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