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UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - Junior running back Saquon Barkley (Coplay, Pa.) and senior tight end Mike Gesicki (Manahawkin, N.J.) each earned All-America honors from Sporting News Tuesday. Barkley was selected as the first-team athlete, while Gesicki was the second-team selection at tight end.
Barkley has already 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. He has garnered first-team All-America honors from Walter Camp (running back), Associated Press (all-purpose), Football Writers Association of America (all-purpose) and Sporting News (running back). He was also a finalist for three other national awards -- Maxwell Award, Doak Walker Award and Walter Camp Player of the Year Award.
Gesicki is the first Penn State tight end to earn All-America first or second team honors since Kyle Brady was a first-team selection in 1994. In addition to his Sporting News All-America nod, Gesicki was also named second-team All-America by SB Nation and third-team All-America by College Sports Madness.
Saquon Barkley, RB, Jr./Jr., 5-11, 230, Coplay, Pa./Whitehall
- 2017 All-America first team selection
- Sporting News first-team athlete, Associated Press first-team all-purpose, Football Writers Association of America first-team all-purpose and Walter Camp first-team running back.
- Is the 100th first-team All-American in Penn State history.
- Is the first Penn Stater to win first team honors since defensive end Carl Nassib in 2015.
- Is the first Nittany Lion offensive player to earn Walter Camp first-team All-America status since A.Q. Shipley in 2008 (Stefen Wisniewski was on Camp's second team in 2010).
- Is the first Penn State running back to be named first team All-America since Larry Johnson in 2002.
- 2017 Paul Hornung Award winner (most versatile player in college football)
- Is the first Penn State player to win the Paul Hornung Award.
- Is the second-straight Big Ten player to win the Hornung Award (Jabrill Peppers, Michigan).
- Finished fourth in the 2017 Heisman Trophy voting
- Is the 18th Penn State player to finish in the top-10 in Heisman voting.
- Is the first Penn State player to finish in the Heisman top 10 since Michael Robinson finished fifth in 2005.
- Marks the highest finish in Heisman voting by a Penn State player since Larry Johnson was third in 2002.
- Earned All-America honors from Sports Illustrated (1st team all-purpose; 2nd team running back), The Athletic (1st team all-purpose), SB Nation (1st team running back; honorable mention kick returner), USA Today (2nd team running back) and College Sports Madness (1st team running back; 2nd team kick returner).
- 2017 Chicago Tribune Silver Football winner (best player in the Big Ten)
- Wins the award for the second-straight seasons (shared with J.T. Barrett in 2016).
- Is the fifth player since the award's inception in 1924 to claim the honor twice, joining the elite list of Minnesota's Paul Giel (1952-53), Ohio State's Archie Griffin (1973-74), Indiana's Anthony Thompson (1988-89) and Ohio State's Braxton Miller (2012-13).
- This is the sixth time a Penn State player has won the Silver Football.
- Selected as a finalist for the Maxwell Award, Doak Walker Award and Walter Camp Player of the Year Award.
- Is the second player in conference history to win three Big Ten Conference major awards, joining Michigan's Jabrill Peppers (Defensive Player of the Year, Linebacker of the Year, Return Specialist of the Year) in 2016.
- 2017 Graham-George Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year.
- Is the first back-to-back Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year since Ohio State's Braxton Miller (2012 & 2013).
- Is the third player to win multiple Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year honors (Miller; Drew Brees, Purdue in 1998 & 2000).
- Is the first running back to win multiple Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year honors.
- This is the fifth time a Penn State player has won Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year (Kerry Collins, 1994; Curtis Enis, 1997; Michael Robinson, 2005; Barkley, 2016).
- Is the first Penn State player to win Big Ten OPOY twice.
- This is the fourth consecutive year that a running back has won the award.
- 2017 Ameche-Dayne Big Ten Running Back of the Year.
- Is the first player to win back-to-back Big Ten Running Back of the Year since Wisconsin's Montee Ball (2011 & 2012).
- 2017 Rodgers-Dwight Big Ten Return Specialist of the Year.
- Is the first Penn State player to be Return Specialist of the Year (award established in 2015).
- First-team all-conference running back (coaches & media).
- First-team All-Big Ten return specialist (coaches & media).
- Second-straight first-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and media.
- Marks the third all-conference honor of his career after first team bid in 2016 and second team berth in 2015.
- Is just the second running back in Penn State history to earn back-to-back first team honors, joining Curtis Enis (1996 & 1997).
- Is the first Penn State player to be named all-conference return specialist (added in 2015).
- Named Associated Press Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and All-Big Ten first team, as well as Pro Football Focus All-Big Ten first team.
- Is 1-of-5 student-athlete in the FBS with four all-purpose plays of 80 yards or longer in 2017.
- Ranks No. 2 in the FBS and leads the Big Ten in all-purpose yards (179.50).
- Ranks No. 4 nationally and leads the Big Ten in kickoff return touchdowns (2).
- Ranks No. 10 in the FBS and leads the Big Ten in kickoff return average (28.4).
- Is the 24th FBS player to produce 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in a season since 2000.
- Sits tied for No. 5 nationally and leads the Big Ten lead in total touchdowns (21).
- Is tied for No. 7 nationally and leads the Big Ten in scoring per game (10.5).
- Ranks No. 10 in the FBS and leads the Big Ten in rushing touchdowns (16).
- Owns nine games with 200-plus all-purpose yards in his career (four in 2016, five in 2017).
- His six Player of the Week honors in 2017 (four offensive, two special teams) are the most in a single season in Big Ten history.
- Is tied for the program single season record with two kickoff return touchdowns, equaling the marks of Chuck Peters (1940), Curt Warner (1980) and Derrick Williams (2008).
- Ranks No. 2 on the single season all-purpose yards list with 2,154 yards in 2017, just the second player in program history to eclipse the 2,000 all-purpose yard mark (Larry Johnson, 2,655; 2002).
- Set the single game all-purpose yards mark with 358 at Iowa (9/23/17), accounting for 211 yards rushing, 94 yards receiving and 53 yards on kickoff return, topping Curt Warner's previous mark of 341 vs. Syracuse in 1981.
- Earned Midseason All-America honors from The All-American, Associated Press, CBSSports.com, ESPN.com, Sporting News, Sports Illustrated (RB & all-purpose)and USA Today.
- Named Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week (Barrett, OSU) on Sept. 4 after rushing for 174 yards and totaling 246 all-purpose yards vs. Akron.
- Earned Big Ten Rose Bowl Player of the Week on Sept. 5 after his effort vs. Akron in the season opener.
- Selected to the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll on Sept. 11 after posting 183 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns vs. Pittsburgh.
- Named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 25 after breaking the school record for all-purpose yards (358) vs. Iowa.
- Graded out as the top offensive player in the FBS during week four by Pro Football Focus to earn a spot on the National Team of the Week.
- The effort vs. Iowa also earned him Rose Bowl Big Ten Player of the Week and Maxwell Award Player of the Week, along with a spot on the Hornung Award Honor Roll and Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week.
- Named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week and garnered a spot on the Hornung Award Honor Roll on Oct. 2 after posting 205 all-purpose yards vs. Indiana, including a 98-yard kickoff return for the touchdown to open the game.
- Garnered Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, along with earning a spot on the Hornung Award Honor Roll, on Oct. 23 after piling up 176 all-purpose yards vs. Michigan.
- Added his second Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week Award on Oct. 30 after returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown at Ohio State.
- Garnered Big Ten Player of the Week and a spot on the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week after logging 224 all-purpose yards vs. Nebraska (11/18).
- Scored a touchdown in 15-straight games from Oct. 29, 2016-Oct. 28, 2017, which set the Penn State school record, passing Curtis Enis' 14-game streak from 1996-97.
- Had a streak of nine-straight games with a rushing touchdown snapped vs. Georgia State, which was the longest streak by a Penn Stater since Larry Johnson had 11 in a row in 2002.
Mike Gesicki, TE/H, Sr./Sr., 6-6, 250, Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional
- 2017 Sporting News second-team All-American.
- Is the first Penn State tight end to earn All-America first or second team honors since Kyle Brady was a first-team selection in 1994.
- First-team all-conference selection by the media and second-team All-Big Ten choice by the coaches.
- Earns second All-Big Ten honor of his career after an appearance on the second team (coaches & media) last season.
- Is the first Nittany Lion tight end to earn All-Big Ten first team accolades since Kyle Carter in 2012.
- Selected as one of three finalists for the Mackey Award for National Tight End of the Year.
- Named second-team All-America by SB Nation and third-team All-America by College Sports Madness.
- Ranks third among FBS tight ends in touchdown receptions (9).
- Ranks sixth among FBS tight ends in yards (501).
- Ranks second among FBS tight ends in receptions (51).
- Has at least one reception in 25-straight games.
- Of his 46 catches this season, 26 of them have gone for a first down or a touchdown.
- Ranks tied No. 19 nationally and No. 3 in the Big Ten in receiving touchdowns (9).
- Is tied for No 89 nationally and No. 6 in the Big Ten in receptions per game (4.3).
- Set the Penn State career receptions record for tight ends with his final catch vs. Pittsburgh, eclipsing Andrew Quarless' 87 grabs from 2006-09.
- Surpassed Ted Kwalick's 1,343 yards from 1966-68 for the most receiving yards by a tight end vs. Nebraska and has 1,419 yards in his career.
- Is No. 10 on the career receptions charts with 123 grabs.
- Sits No. 18 on Penn State's career receiving yards chart with 1,419 yards.
- Became the 29th Penn State pass catcher to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards vs. Pittsburgh.
- Owns 13 career touchdown receptions, moving past Jesse James (11; 2012-14) for the school record for a tight end.
- Joins teammates Saquon Barkley and DaeSean Hamilton as the second RB/WR/TE trio to eclipse 1,000 career receiving yards in Big Ten history (Purdue, 1982-85: WR Steve Griffin, 2,234 yards; RB Rodney Carter, 1,814 yards; TE Marty Scott, 1,247 yards).
- Owns the Penn State single season record for touchdown catches for a tight end with seven in 2017.
- Owns the single-season record for receptions by a tight end with 48 in 2016, passing Andrew Quarless (41; 2009), and yardage by a tight end at 679 in 2016, besting Mickey Shuler's single-season record of 600 receiving yards (1977).
- Earned Midseason All-America honors from Sports Illustrated.
- Earned Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week honors on Sept. 12 after catching two touchdown passes vs. Pittsburgh.
- Selected to the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week following his two-touchdown effort vs. Nebraska.
- Caught a touchdown pass in five-straight games from Nov. 26, 2016-Sept. 9, 2017, including multiple touchdown grabs in the first two games of 2017.
The ninth-ranked Nittany Lions win face No. 11 Washington in the Playstation Fiesta Bowl Saturday, Dec. 30 at 4 p.m. (ET) in Glendale, Arizona. Fans can visit GoPSUsports.com/bowlcentral for more information.
Penn State season ticket renewals and Nittany Lion Club membership renewals also are underway for the 2018 Penn State Football season presented by PSECU. The ticket invoice and Nittany Lion Club renewal deadline is Feb. 1, 2018. For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing new 2018 season tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit www.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.
More than 2,000 new season tickets have already been sold for the 2018 campaign.