A Star in the Making: Saquon Barkley


Photo created by Kolby Barrett

Saquon Barkley:  This 21-year-old has had an outstanding career at Penn State and is considered one of, if not the best, football player to graduate from PSU.

Barkley attended Whitehall High School in Pennsylvania, where he would rush for 3,646 yards and put up 63 touchdowns throughout his high school career, from sophomore to senior year. The four-star recruit would later commit to Penn State University.

At Penn State, Barkley had an outstanding career, playing only up to his junior year. As a freshman, he would earn playing time immediately and rushed 115 yards with a touchdown in just his second game at the college level. He put up 1,076 yards with 7 touchdowns his freshman year and would later be named 2015 Big Ten Network Freshman of the Year. He was even named to the Second-Team All-Big Ten Team.

In Barkley’s sophomore year, there would be a lot of praise for his outstanding freshman performance with expectations very high.  In just the first game of the season, he rushed for an easy 105 yards and a touchdown. During this season Penn State would end up finding their outstanding quarterback, Trace McSorley, who would play for them for the next three years and would contribute to Barley’s success.

Barkley that season would come just short of 1,500 rushing yards with 1,496 and would score 18 touchdowns. It was an outstanding season, that most likely lead the track of the great season that would soon come. In the season Barkley was a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award; named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year; Ameche–Dayne Running Back of the Year; and First Team All-Big Ten. He would also lead the Nittany Lions in the 2016 Big Ten Championship Game, going for 83 yards and having one touchdown. Barkley would, after that season, become the team rushing record holder by a freshman and sophomore.

He would go into his junior season being the best halfback in the nation, with only other running back his caliber being Bryce Love from Stanford. In the first game of the season, Barkley would rush for an outstanding 172 yards and two touchdowns and be named co- Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week.  In the Big Ten opener, Barkley would be named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week. The team would come up short of being in the 2017 NCAA Playoffs and just make it to the Fiesta Bowl, where they would end up winning. Shortly after that, Barkley would declare for the NFL Draft.

He was the second pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and was, in debate, to be the first pick overall. In Barkley’s NFL Combine, he ran a 4.40 and put up an outstanding 29 bench press reps.

Before entering upon the NFL Draft, no one would have known who the first pick in the draft would have been. There were many options for the first pick, but it would be expected that the Browns would try to get a quarterback, considering they had the fourth pick as well. Their most likely options would have been Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, and Lamar Jackson. They would end up selecting Baker with their first pick. The next pick was the New York Giants.  Almost all Giants’ fans knew who they wanted, the rookie from Penn State, Saquon Barkley, and that is just who they got.

Barkley would enter the 2018 season as a sure starter and signed a 31 million dollar contract for four years. He scored his first professional touchdown in week 1 of the season, where he would go for 68 yards. The next week he set a franchise record for most catches in a game with 14. In Week 11, Barkley was awarded with being the NFC Offensive Player of the Week. During that game, he had 3 touchdowns and 142 yards. Barkley at the end of the season would rush for over 1,000 yards and would make the Pro Bowl. As of now, he is in the running for 2018-19 Rookie of the Year. He will most likely be the best or one of the best running backs in the NFL by his final years.