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Prospect Profile: Penn State RB Saquon Barkley

Saquon Barkley

Running back | Penn State | Junior

Height: 233 pounds | Weight: 6-foot-0

College Stats

2017: 217 carries for 1,271 yards and 18 touchdowns in 13 games; 54 receptions for 632 yards and three touchdowns; 2-of-2 passing for 36 yards and a touchdown; 15 kickoff returns for 426 yards and two touchdowns; ranked fifth in FBS in scoring (10.6 points per game) and second in all-purpose yards (179.2 per game); finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting; won the Paul Hornung Award (most versatile player); finalist for the Maxwell, Doak Walker, Lombardi and Walter Camp Player of the Year awards; became the 100th First-Team All-American and the 42nd consensus All-American in Penn State history; First-Team All-America running back from the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and Walter Camp; First-Team All-America as an all-purpose player by the Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), Sporting News, CBS Sports,, Phil Steele, Sports Illustrated *and *The Athletic as an all-purpose player

Career: 671 carries for 3,843 yards (second in school history) and 43 touchdowns (a school record) in 38 games; 102 receptions for 1,195 yards and eight touchdowns; 2-of-2 passing for 36 yards and a touchdown; 18 kickoff returns for 500 yards and two touchdowns; 318 points; set school records with 53 total touchdowns and 5,538 all-purpose yards; had nine games with more than 200 all-purpose yards; scored at least one touchdown in a school-record 15 consecutive games (Oct. 29, 2016 to Nov. 4, 2017)

Combine Results

40-yard dash: 4.40 seconds (second among 2018 running backs)
Bench press: 29 reps of 225 pounds (tied for first among RBs)
Broad jump: did not participate
Vertical jump: 41 inches (first among RBs)
3-cone drill: did not participate
20-yard shuttle: 4.24 seconds (eighth among RBs)


Summary: An all-everything back when it comes to awards, the 2014 Mr. Pennsylvania Football for Class AAA/AAAA quickly showed in Happy Valley that he can do it all on the field. The running back set the Penn State record for rushing yards by a freshman (1,076) on 182 carries and added 161 yards on 20 receptions. He followed with a whopping 272 rushes for 1,496 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2016 as a sophomore.  

Barkley became the first player in school history and fourth in conference history to finish his career with at least 3,000 rushing yards and 1,000-plus receiving yards. He also is the only Nittany Lion to have a rush and a reception of 80-plus yards. Barkley set a school record for all-purpose yards in a game with 358 at Iowa (10th in Big Ten history) and showed he can be a threat from anywhere by scoring on a 92-yard run in the Fiesta Bowl (longest play in the game's history).

Stacking up:NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock ranked Barkley as the **top running back prospect** before and after the combine. Bucky Brooks also has Barkley as his top running back in a "loaded class" because he believes Barkley is "the **ultimate three-down back*** *with a rugged running style and polished set of playmaking skills." Barkley also topped Daniel Jeremiah's **Top 50** list of all draft-eligible prospects before and after the combine. 

Quite the comparison:'s Lance Zierlein **compared Barkley*** *to Lions Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders. Barkley was born in 1997 when Sanders won his second Offensive Player of the Year Award from the *Associated Press. *Sanders played just one more season after Barkley's birth, but the younger back is plenty familiar with the 10-time Pro Bowler and said at the combine that he's tried to pattern his game after Sanders.

"With technology today and YouTube and highlight videos and stuff like that, at a young age I was able to see the things he was able to do on a football field," Barkley said. "He was spectacular. He was an awesome runner. He was a guy I looked up to growing up, not only on the field, but off the field. The way he carried himself. He was humble. When he scored a touchdown he gave the ball to the ref. You look at his [episode of] A Football Life, he was carrying cups to his offensive linemen. I think that's what a running back should be about. I think that's what our position should be about. I try to model myself after that."

View images of Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.

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