Two B1G players tabbed USA Today Freshman All-Americans
Both were expected to be stars.
But were both expected to be stars as freshmen? That’s another debate.
Either way, Ohio State defensive end Sam Hubbard and Penn State tailback Saquon Barkley both picked up USA Today Freshman All-American honors. It was an impressive feat for a pair of guys that weren’t expected to be regular starters at the beginning of the season.
The one-game suspension to All-American Joey Bosa opened the door for Hubbard to emerge and earn himself a regular role in Ohio State’s defense. The former five-star safety recorded seven tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, two fumbles recovered, one fumble forced and an interception. Hubbard helped the Buckeyes finish in the top 10 in total defense in his second season with the program.
With the potential loss of Joey Bosa and Adolphus Washington on the defensive line, Hubbard will likely be asked to play an even bigger role in 2016.
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Barkley, on the other hand, broke out as a true freshman. He set a Penn State freshman record with 1,007 yards in just 10 games of action. Nobody in the B1G had more than Barkley’s 13 rushes of 20-plus yards, and he finished 28th in the country with 6.1 yards per carry.
The Coplay, Pennsylvania native finished fourth in the B1G in rushing behind only Ezekiel Elliott, Justin Jackson and Jordan Howard.
Perhaps the only B1G snub on the list was Jabrill Peppers, who played just about every position possible as a redshirt freshman. The Michigan do-it-all weapon was the B1G Freshman of the Year and a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award, given to the nation’s most versatile player.
Barkley, Hubbard and Peppers will all have the chance for plenty more hardware in their college careers.