All week, BTN will be unveiling their Big Ten All-Decade Team. The festivities began on Monday with a focus on running backs and linebackers. Saquon Barkley was named to the first team, while Michael Mauti earned second team honors.
"Saquon Barkley was a once-in-a-generation player. I think he was the best player of the decade, overall."— Penn State On BTN (@PennStateOnBTN) June 29, 2020
The voters share why @PennStateFball great @saquon made the #BTNAllDecade Team.
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Understatement: @Michael_Mauti carried on the LBU tradition.— Penn State On BTN (@PennStateOnBTN) June 29, 2020
So much so, the former @PennStateFball LB was just named to the #BTNAllDecade 2nd Team.
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Barkley shared first team honors with all-time great Wisconsin back Jonathan Taylor. The Coplay, PA native impressed from his first year with the Nittany Lions, growing to become one of the nation's best as a sophomore and junior. Before being drafted by the New York Giants second overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, Barkley amassed 3,443 rushing yards along with 39 touchdowns on the ground over his Penn State career. He added another 1,089 yards receiving plus seven additional scores. He also returned a pair of kickoffs for touchdowns in his final year in Happy Valley.
Mauti, the son of former Nittany Lion wide receiver Rich Mauti, has ingrained himself as one of the best ever to play at Linebacker U. Despite three major knee injuries, the last of which came late in his final season, Mauti was productive every snap he was on the field, ultimately being named the Big Ten's Linebacker of the Year in 2012. It was his passionate speech prior to that season, however, that has endeared him to Nittany Lion fans. In the face of unprecedented NCAA sanctions, Mauti, along with classmate Mike Zordich and numerous other players, stood up for the program and stated their plans to keep the team together heading into the 2012 campaign.
The All-Decade team will be unveiled throughout the week, with the offensive line set to be announced next.