PSU’s Barkley declares early for NFL draft

UNIVERSITY PARK — Junior running back Saquon Barkley has decided to forgo his senior season and has declared for the NFL Draft. He was unanimously selected to the 2017 NCAA Consensus All-America team, becoming the 42nd student-athlete in program history to earn the honor. He finished his career second on Penn State’s career rushing yards list.

“I would like to start off by saying thank you so much for all of the memories that you have helped create over the last three years, whether it be on the football field, in school or in the community,” Barkley said. “I am forever grateful to you for making my time here so enjoyable. You have been amazing to me through the ups and downs of my career and you will always have a special place in my heart.”

Barkley collected several honors this season, winning the Paul Hornung Award for college football’s most versatile player and dominating the Big Ten major awards, winning 2017 Graham-George Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, 2017 Ameche-Dayne Big Ten Running Back of the Year and 2017 Rodgers-Dwight Big Ten Return Specialist of the Year – as well as winning the Chicago Tribune Silver Football for the second-straight year for the conference’s best player. The Coplay, Pennsylvania native also finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting and became the 100th first-team All-American in Penn State history.

Check Tuesday’s Mirror for more on this story.