Summer 2024

N.Y. Giants' Saquon Barkley thanks God after winning ESPY for 'Best Breakthrough Athlete'

Following a rookie season in the NFL that saw him win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award and get an invite to the Pro Bowl, New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley picked up another prize Wednesday night. The 22-year-old was named Best Breakthrough Athlete at the annual ESPY Awards.

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Upon receiving the trophy, Barkley took the stage at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and thanked God.

“First and foremost, I want to say thank you to God for blessing me with the opportunity to wake up every single day and play the sport I love, and have an impact on others,” he said.

Barkley also expressed his respect for the other nominees in his category, which included tennis star Naomi Osaka, the Milwaukee Brewers’ Christian Yelich and the Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young.

Barkley’s rookie season ranks among the finest in NFL history. His 2,028 all-purpose yards were tops among all players in 2018, his 1,307 rushing yards ranked second in the NFL, and his 15 total touchdowns tied for third in the league. His 352 touches trailed only Ezekiel Elliott’s 381.

Barkley was the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Penn State, where he totaled 5,038 yards from scrimmage and 51  touchdowns in three seasons.

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