If you follow football, you have probably heard of the Giants 2018 draft pick Saquon Barkley. One of the most physically imposing players we’ve seen in years, Barkley was the consensus number one prospect in this year’s draft but managed to fall to the Giants at the #2 spot. If you haven’t heard of him from his time torching defense’s at Penn State, maybe you heard his name this past week when he signed his 4-year $31.2 Million rookie contract? That’s right, the same team that held out on paying Odell Beckham Jr. just forked over $31.2 million over four years including a $20.76 million signing bonus, and $15 million paid out immediately to a back that hasn’t played a single snap in the NFL yet because they are that confident that Barkley will be a star.
Whether or not Saquon will continue to shred defenses at the next level still remains to be seen, but what is certain is that he will be a name that you want to watch on Sunday’s, and with that being said, here is a little more info about the player Bleacher Report has already questioned could be the next Bo Jackson:
High School: Whitehall High School
Originally committed to Rutgers before changing to Penn State, Barkley was a four-star stud coming out of high school, but it wasn’t exactly a straight path to Whitehall. The son of a boxer, Barkley was born in The Bronx, New York. At a young age, his parents decided they wanted to raise Saquon in a safer more suburban environment, thus the move to Bethlehem, PA. From his sophomore year through his senior year at the PA high school, Barkley tallied up over 3,600 yards and reached the end zone 63 times. His senior year was his best year, as he racked up 1,856 yards with 31 touchdowns.
College Career: Penn State
Barkley was an immediate star at Penn State- or should I say almost immediate. In his first game, Barkley had just one carry for just one yard, but in his second game, he had 115 yards and a touchdown and hasn’t looked back since. Even after missing a couple of games in October due to injury, Barkley finished his freshman season with 1,076 rushing yards on 182 attempts and 7 TDs. He followed this up with an even more successful sophomore year which consisted of 279 rushes for 1,496 yards and 23 TDs, 5 of which were receiving, a Big-Ten Offensive Player of the Year award, and a trip to the Rose Bowl. The Nittany Lions would fall to USC in the 2017 Rose Bowl by a score of 52-49 despite a 3 touchdown performance from Barkley. After his sophomore year, Saquon now held the Penn State records for Most Rushing Yards by a Freshman (1,076) and by a Sophomore (1,496).
Unsurprisingly, Barkey continued to dazzle in his third and final year at Penn State. In the Big-Ten 2017 opener, the Lions beat Iowa by a score of 21-19, and Saquon had 358 all-purpose yards, which was more than the entire Iowa offense combined. He would have 217 carries on the season for 1,271 yards and 24 TDs en route to a Fiesta Bowl Championship. Of those 24, 18 were rushing, 3 were receiving, 2 were off of kickoff returns, and 1 was a passing touchdown.
Now heading into his first NFL season with the Giants, Barkley has some hefty expectations for his first year, and it will certainly be all eyes on him this year in New York. And maybe just a few on that guy they have running routes and catching passes.