Penn State football star Saquon Barkley is going pro.
On Sunday night, the Nittany Lions running back made the expected decision that he will forgo his final year of college eligibility to declare for the 2018 NFL Draft.
Barkley, who was a consensus All-American and Paul Hornung Award winner as college football’s most versatile player this season, announced his decision to head to the NFL in a statement released by the university.
You can read Barkley’s full statement below:
“I would like to start off by saying thank you so much for all of the memories that you have helped create over the last three years, whether it be on the football field, in school or in the community,” Barkley said. “I am forever grateful to you for making my time here so enjoyable. You have been amazing to me through the ups and downs of my career and you will always have a special place in my heart.
“With that being said, God has blessed me with the opportunity to pursue the dream I have had since I was a little kid of playing in the NFL. I would like to thank God, my family, especially my mom, dad, brothers and sisters, my coaches and teammates, the athletic training and performance enhancements staffs at Penn State, my support system from Whitehall and the Penn State fans who have helped me be in position to have a decision like this. After lots of thought, prayer and conversation with those closest to me, I have decided to forgo my senior season and enter the NFL Draft.
“I hope I have left a lasting impression on this University, football program and community at large. It has been an honor and privilege to be able to call Penn State home and represent the Blue & White and all of the great players who came before me and will follow after me. I will continue to work each and every day to continue to represent Penn State the right way as I move on to the next phase of my life.
“I am aware I am coming up short on getting my degree, but I have made a promise to my mom, dad and Coach Franklin that I will continue to pursue my dream of obtaining a Penn State degree.
“I am so thankful to my family for all of the sacrifices they made to get me in this position. To my teammates and coaches for the last three years, it has been a blessing to call you guys family. I love you guys so much. To the 107k strong, I will miss you and the amazing support you have shown me and the Penn State Football program. We Are!”
This season, Barkley rushed for 1,271 yards and 18 touchdowns. He finishes his career in State College with 3,843 yards and 43 touchdowns. He added 1,193 yards and 8 touchdowns on 102 catches.