Barkley earns Big Ten award

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS -

ROSEMONT, ILL. >> Penn State run­ning back Saquon Barkley was hon­ored Wed­nes­day as the Big Ten of­fen­sive player of the year.

Barkley, who also was se­lected the top run­ning back, leads the Big Ten with 17 to­tal touch­downs and 1,563 all-pur­pose yards. Barkley ran for over 200 yards twice this sea­son against Mary­land and Pur­due.

The Nit­tany Lions will face Wis­con­sin on Satur­day in the Big Ten cham­pi­onship game in In­di­anapo­lis.

Ohio State’s J.T. Bar­rett was se­lected the best quar­ter­back in a vote of league coaches and me­dia. Bar­rett has thrown for 24 touch­downs against just five in­ter­cep­tions while rush­ing for 847 yards.

North­west­ern’s Austin Carr is the Big Ten’s top re­ceiver, while Michi­gan’s Jake Butt was the best tight end for the sec­ond straight sea­son.

Texas’ Foreman de­clares for NFL Draft

AUSTIN, TEXAS >> Texas run­ning back D’Onta Foreman said Wed­nes­day he will skip his se­nior sea­son to en­ter the NFL draft af­ter rush­ing for 2,028 yards and 15 touch­downs this sea­son.

A lightly-re­garded re­cruit when he signed with Texas in 2014, Foreman projects as a pos­si­ble ear­ly­round draft choice and is a fi­nal­ist for the Doak Walker Award given to col­lege foot­ball’s top run­ning back.

His rush­ing to­tal in 11 games this sea­son — he missed a game be­cause of a ham­string in­jury — was the sec­ond-best in school his­tory, be­hind only Ricky Wil­liams in 1998 when he won the Heis­man Tro­phy.

“I want to be re­mem­bered as one of the best backs to come through here. I feel like I’ve earned it,” Foreman said.

A 6-foot-1, 250-pound bruiser, Foreman set a school record with 13 con­sec­u­tive 100-yard games dat­ing back to last sea­son. He av­er­aged more than 230 yards over his last five games, in­clud­ing a 341yard ef­fort against Texas Tech.

Zaire leav­ing Notre Dame, el­i­gi­ble to play im­me­di­ately

SOUTH BEND, IND. >> Ma­lik Zaire, the quar­ter­back who won the start­ing job at Notre Dame last year be­fore a bro­ken an­kle ended his sea­son, plans to grad­u­ate in De­cem­ber and use his fi­nal year of el­i­gi­bil­ity else­where next sea­son.

Univer­sity spokesman Michael Bertsch said Wed­nes­day that Zaire has been given his re­lease. Zaire told the South Bend Tri­bune among the schools he is con­sid­er­ing are Florida, Wis­con­sin, Pitts­burgh and Michi­gan State, an Ir­ish op­po­nent next sea­son.

Notre Dame won all three games Zaire started but was beaten out for the starter’s job this sea­son by DeShone Kizer.

Zaire com­pleted 58 of 98 passes for 816 yards and six touch­downs with no in­ter­cep­tions in three sea­sons with the Ir­ish.

Kizer has said he hasn’t de­cided whether he will re­turn next sea­son. He has re­quested feed­back from the NFL Draft Ad­vi­sory Board.

JOE HERMITT — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Penn State run­ning backs Miles San­ders, left, and Saquon Barkley share a laugh dur­ing prac­tice Wed­nes­day.

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