"And the ESPY goes to…"
That's what Giants' running back Saquon Barkley hopes to hear on July 10, the night of the 27th annual ESPY (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly) Awards. Barkley, who last year became one of three rookie running backs in NFL history to eclipse 2,000 all-purpose yards, is nominated for "Best Breakthrough Athlete".
Here's a look at all four nominees in the category:
Saquon Barkley – Running Back, New York Giants
Christian Yelich – Outfielder, Milwaukee Brewers
Trae Young – Point Guard, Atlanta Hawks
Naomi Osaka – 2018 US Open and 2019 Australian Open single's champion
Fans can vote for the nominees for all 33 categories from now leading up to the start of the 2019 ESPY Awards at ESPYS.com (voting for "Best Team" will open up the first week of July).
For Barkley, the award would add yet another piece of hardware in recognition of his outstanding first season with the Giants. At NFL Honors this past February, Barkley took home the NFL's Rookie of the Year, Pepsi Rookie of the Year and FedEx Ground Player of the Year.
The second overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft took the league by storm last season. Barkley led the NFL with 2,028 yards from scrimmage. He set Giants rookie records for rushing yards (1,307), total touchdowns (15) and tied Odell Beckham Jr.'s mark for receptions (91). Barkley also led the NFL with seven 40+ yard runs and six 50+ yard runs. His six 50-yard runs were twice as many as any other NFL running back last year.
The 2019 ESPYS will be hosted by Tracy Morgan and will be broadcast live on ABC from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 10.