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