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UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - A trio of Penn State freshmen - Saquon Barkley (Coplay, Pa.), Troy Reeder (Wilmington, Del.) and John Reid (Mount Laurel, N.J.) -- were selected to the ESPN.com Big Ten All-Freshman team, while senior defensive end Carl Nassib (West Chester, Pa.) added first team All-America honors from SI.com to his list of postseason accolades.
Barkley claimed USA Today Freshman All-America honors and was selected by Sports on Earth as the top offensive freshman. He earned second team All-Big Ten accolades (coaches and media), as well as BTN.com Freshman of the Year honors. He broke the Penn State freshman season rushing record with 1,007 yards, surpassing the mark of 1,002 set by D.J. Dozier in 1983. He produced the 23rd 1,000-yard rushing season by a Nittany Lion and is the 14th player to accomplish the feat. Barkley has five 100-yard rushing performances on the season after clicking off 103 yards at Michigan State.
The native of Coplay, Pennsylvania ranks 28th in FBS in rushing yards per carry (6.1) and 31st in rushing yards per game (100.7). He is 18th in the country in rushes of 30 or more yards (6). Barkley leads the Big Ten and is tied for 15th in FBS in 20-plus yard rushing plays (13). His seven rushing touchdowns are tied with Dozier by the most by a Penn State true freshman. He ranks 43rd on Penn State's career rushing yards list. Barkley tallied 194 rushing yards against the then-No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus, becoming just the second back to rush for more than 175 yards at Ohio State since 2000, joining Indiana's Tevin Coleman (228; 2014).
Reeder started the last 11 games for the Nittany Lions at the linebacker spot. He ranks fourth on the team with 67 tackles, including 42 solo. Reeder also has 5.5 tackles for loss to go along with an interception against Illinois. He also recorded a pass breakup and two pass defenses on the year. Against Maryland, Reeder had a career-high 11 tackles, including 10 solo, to lead all tacklers. Reeder was selected CoSIDA Academic All-District for his efforts in the classroom.
Reid started the first two games of the season in place of the injured Grant Haley. He is tied for the team lead with two interceptions to go along with his one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Reid also has three pass breakups and five passes defended on the year. In his 12 games, he has 27 total tackles, including one TFL. He had a career-high five tackles on two occasions this season (Temple, Michigan State).
Nassib has filled his trophy case in the last two weeks, collecting the Big Ten's Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year award, the 46th Rotary Lombardi Award for the nation's top lineman (offense or defense) or linebacker and the 14th Ted Hendricks Award for the nation's top defensive end.
He is also a finalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy (distinguished young men represent the qualities embodied by Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott -- Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity), which will announce its winner Sunday. He was a finalist for the Burlsworth Trophy (top player that started his career as a walk-on), Bednarik Award (nation's top defensive player) and Nagurski Trophy (nation's top defensive player).
Despite playing only four snaps in the last two games due to injury, Nassib leads FBS in sacks (15.5) and forced fumbles (6) and is second in FBS and first in the Big Ten in tackles for loss (19.5). With one sack at Northwestern, Nassib broke the Penn State single-season sacks record by upping his total to 15.5. He surpasses the mark of 15 sacks set by Larry Kubin (1979) and Michael Haynes (2002).
The Nittany Lions will square off against Georgia in the 71st TaxSlayer Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday, Jan. 2 at noon. The game will air on ESPN. For more information on tickets, ticket packages and bowl information, visit Penn State's Bowl Central at GoPSUsports.com/bowlcentral.
Penn State season ticket renewals and Nittany Lion Club membership renewals also are underway for the 2016 campaign. The ticket invoice and Nittany Lion Club renewal deadline is Feb. 1, 2015. There will not be any increase in the price of Penn State football season tickets or Nittany Lion Club donation levels for next season. For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing new 2016 season tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit PSUnrivaled.com, call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office weekdays from 10 a.m-6 p.m.