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Saquon Barkley (/ˈskwɒn/; born February 9, 1997) is an American football running back for the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Penn State for three seasons, running for 3,843 yards with 43 rushing touchdowns, while garnering 1,195 receiving yards with 8 touchdown receptions.

Saquon Barkley
refer to caption
Barkley in 2018
No. 26 – New York Giants
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born: (1997-02-09) February 9, 1997 (age 22)
Bronx, New York
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:233 lb (106 kg)
Career information
High school:Whitehall
(Whitehall, Pennsylvania)
College:Penn State
NFL Draft:2018 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards

NFL records:

  • Most receptions by a rookie RB in a single season
Career NFL statistics as of 2018
Rushing attempts:261
Rushing yards:1,307
Rushing touchdowns:11
Receptions:91
Receiving yards:721
Receiving touchdowns:4
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

He totaled 5,557 all-purpose yards in his three-year collegiate career. Barkley received national attention and finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting with 304 total votes and third in Maxwell Award voting. He also received multiple national and Big Ten Conference awards and recognition. During Barkley's three-year collegiate career, he broke and set numerous Penn State records including most rushing touchdowns in a career, most rushing yards by a freshman and sophomore as well as most total yards in a single game. Barkley was drafted with the second overall pick by the Giants in the 2018 NFL Draft.

As a rookie during the 2018 NFL season Barkley set numerous league and franchise records while on his way to a 1,300+ yard rushing season and a Pro Bowl nod. In 2018, Barkley set multiple league records, tying Randy Moss for most 50+ yard touchdowns from scrimmage in a season, along with recording the most receptions (91) by a rookie running back.[1] Barkley also set three franchise records for rookies: most rushing touchdowns (11), most rushing yards (1,307), and most total touchdowns (15). Barkley was also awarded AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, and was named to the first team PFWA All-Rookie Team.

Contents

Early yearsEdit

Barkley was born in the Bronx, New York. He grew up a New York Jets fan idolizing running back Curtis Martin. Boxing talent ran in the Barkley family. Barkley's father, Alibay was a strong amateur boxer and Barkley is the nephew of Iran Barkley. Barkley and his family moved to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in search of a safer and more suburban environment in his youth.[2] Barkley attended Whitehall High School in Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania, which competes in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference (PIAA).[3]

At Whitehall, Barkley rushed for 3,646 yards with 63 touchdowns from his sophomore to senior year, including 1,856 yards and 31 touchdowns as a senior.[4] Barkley was rated as a four-star recruit and committed to Penn State University to play college football.[5][6] He originally committed to Rutgers before changing to Penn State.[7]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight 40 Commit date
Saquon Barkley
RB
Coplay, PA Whitehall HS 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) 233 lb (106 kg) 4.66 Feb 19, 2014 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:    Rivals:    247Sports:     ESPN grade: 80
Overall recruiting rankings:
  • ‡ Refers to 40 yard dash
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height, weight and 40 time.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Sources:

  • "2013 Team Ranking". Rivals.com.

College careerEdit

Freshman yearEdit

Barkley earned immediate playing time as a true freshman at Penn State in 2015.[8] After rushing for one yard on one carry during his first game, he rushed for 115 yards with a touchdown in his second game.[9] He followed up that performance by rushing for 195 yards and 2 touchdowns on 21 carries in his third game.[10] In October, he missed two games due to injury.[11] In his first game back against #1 Ohio State, he rushed for 194 yards on 26 carries.[12][13] During his first year, Barkley had 182 carries for 1,076 yards and seven touchdowns during the 2015 Penn State football season campaign.[14]

During the offseason, Barkley received large amounts of praise for his excellent freshman year. He was awarded second-team All-Big Ten (getting votes for the first team) and BTN.com Freshman of the Year.[15]

Sophomore yearEdit

 
Barkley with Penn State in 2017.

In the first game of his sophomore campaign, Barkley rushed for 105 yards and a touchdown in a 33–13 win over Kent State.[16] In week two, in a renewed rivalry game against Pitt, Penn State trailed at one point in the second quarter 28–7. Barkley scored five touchdowns, his fifth coming with 5:00 left in the fourth quarter, to bring the Nittany Lions within three points. However, quarterback Trace McSorley threw an interception in the Pitt end zone with 1:41 left, that denied the Nittany Lions' hopes of completing the comeback.[17] In week five against Minnesota, in what would become a recurring theme for the 2016 Penn State football team, Penn State had to come back from another halftime deficit. In overtime, on Penn State's first play, Barkley ended the game with a 25-yard touchdown run. Before that carry, Minnesota had held him to only 38 yards on 19 carries.[18] In week six against Maryland, Barkley had his first ever 200-yard rushing game in college. He finished with 31 carries for 202 yards and one touchdown.[19] In week seven, in a matchup versus Ohio State, Barkley rushed for 99 yards on 12 carries with a long of 37 in a 24–21 win over the no. 2 Buckeyes.[20] In week eight, Barkley and no. 24 Penn State scored a season high 62 points versus Purdue. Barkley achieved a career-high 207 rushing yards with a career-high long of 81 yards and two touchdowns, along with 70 yards of receiving, giving him a total of 277 yards on the day. Penn State defeated Purdue 62–24 and improved to 6–2 and 4–1 in Big Ten play.[21]

On November 1, 2016, Barkley was named a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award.[22] On November 5, Barkley rushed for 167 yards and one touchdown versus Iowa. He added 44 yards and another touchdown in the air, for a total of 211 all-purpose yards in the 41–14 win.[23]

After the regular season, Barkley was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, Ameche–Dayne Running Back of the Year and First Team All-Big Ten.[24]

On December 3, 2016, Barkley had 19 carries for 83 yards, rushed for one touchdown, and caught another touchdown on a wheel route. His efforts helped Penn State recover from a 28–7 deficit to stun Wisconsin, 38–31, in the 2016 Big Ten Championship Game.[25]

During the 2017 Rose Bowl, Barkley added 25 carries for 194 yards, at 7.8 yards per carry, as well as a 79-yard touchdown that gave Penn State a 28–27 lead. After trailing 13–0, Penn State scored seven touchdowns on seven consecutive possessions, including four touchdowns on four consecutive offensive plays, including Barkley's 79-yard touchdown. Barkley would score the first, fourth, and seventh touchdowns for Penn State, giving the Nittany Lions a 49–35 lead in the fourth quarter, but ultimately USC won the game, 52–49.[26]

Barkley set the Penn State record for rushing yards in a season by a freshman (1,076) and by a sophomore (1,496).

Junior yearEdit

In the first game of the season against Akron, Barkley had 14 rushes for 172 yards, two touchdowns, and a long run of 80 yards. He also recorded 54 receiving yards on two catches. For his efforts, Barkley was named co-Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week.[27]

In the 2017 Big Ten opener, the Nittany Lions visited the Iowa Hawkeyes. In the dramatic 21–19 win, Barkley had a total of 358 all-purpose yards. He also set a program record for most yards in a single game. Barkley finished the game with 211 rushing yards and a touchdown, 94 receiving yards, and 53 kick return yards.[28] For his efforts, Barkley was again named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week.[29]

In the first Big Ten home game of his junior campaign against the Indiana Hoosiers, Barkley carried the ball 20 times for only 56 yards, an underwhelming rushing day for him. Despite this, he still had a major impact on the game, returning the opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown, adding 51 yards on 4 catches, and even throwing a 16-yard pass to DaeSean Hamilton late in the fourth quarter to cap off a 45–14 win. Barkley became the first player in Big Ten history to score a return and passing touchdown in the same game.[30] For his efforts, Barkley was named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week.[30] One month later against #6 Ohio State, Barkley again returned the opening kickoff back 97 yards for a touchdown, but was limited for the rest of the game to 44 yards rushing on 21 carries, 36 of which came on a TD run in the second quarter.[31] In his final collegiate game, Barkley rushed for 137 yards and 2 touchdowns, one of them a 92-yard effort to put Penn State up 28-7 over the #11 Washington Huskies in the 2017 Fiesta Bowl, which Penn State would go on to win 35-28.[32] On December 31, 2017, about 24 hours after the team's Fiesta Bowl victory, Barkley declared his intentions to enter the NFL draft.[33]

College statisticsEdit

Season Team G Rushing Receiving Kickoff Return Passing
Att Yds Avg Long TD Rec Yds Avg Long TD KR Yds Long TD Comp Att Yards TD
2015 Penn State 11 182 1,076 5.9 56 7 20 161 8.1 32 0 1 12 12 0 0 0 0 0
2016 Penn State 14 272 1,496 5.5 81T 18 28 402 14.4 44T 5 4 84 33 0 0 0 0 0
2017 Penn State 13 217 1,271 5.9 92T 18 54 632 11.7 85T 3 14 423 98T 2 2 2 36 1
Career 38 672 3,843 5.7 92T 43 102 1,195 11.7 85T 8 19 519 98T 2 2 2 36 1
Source[34]

Awards and honorsEdit

RecordsEdit

Penn State:

  • Most career rushing touchdowns – 43[53]
  • Most rushing yards by a freshman – 1,076 yards[54]
  • Most rushing yards by a sophomore – 1,496 yards[55]
  • Most total yards in a single game – 358 yards (vs. Iowa)[56]
  • First player to score a return and passing touchdown in the same game[57]

Professional careerEdit

 
Barkely training for the NFL draft in July 2018

On December 31, 2017, Barkley, who was a projected top 10 pick by many, declared his intentions to enter the 2018 NFL Draft.[33] In the weeks leading up to the NFL Combine Barkley's stock rose even higher. By late February, mock drafts projected him as the second pick selection overall,[58] the highest for a running back since Reggie Bush in 2006. Mel Kiper Jr., who has history of being against drafting running backs in the first round, said “Barkley is a once in a lifetime talent, teams that pass on this young man will be sorry.”[59] At the combine, Barkley had a widely praised performance, running a 4.40 sec 40-yard dash and pressing 225 pounds for 29 reps, tying for the most reps at the running back position.[60] According to Ian Rapoport, the Cleveland Browns were "strongly considering" drafting Barkley first overall, which would have made him the first running back since Ki-Jana Carter in 1995 to go first overall.[61]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 0 in
(1.83 m)
233 lb
(106 kg)
31 38 in
(0.80 m)
9 12 in
(0.24 m)
4.40 s 1.54 s 2.57 s 4.24 s 41 in
(1.04 m)
29 reps
All values from NFL Combine.[62] Highlights of Barkley's performance on YouTube

2018: Rookie year and first Pro-BowlEdit

The New York Giants drafted Barkley as the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.[63] On July 22, 2018, Barkley signed a four-year deal worth $31.2 million fully guaranteed featuring a $20.76 million signing bonus with $15 million of the bonus received immediately (remaining bonus received in October).[64]

 
Barkley running for a 78-yard touchdown in Week 14 against the Washington Redskins

He scored his first NFL touchdown, a 68-yard rush, in Week 1 of the 2018 season against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Overall, he had 106 rushing yards and a touchdown in the 20–15 loss.[65] The following week, in a 20–13 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Barkley set a Giants' franchise record for catches in a game, with 14. He also tied the NFL single game record for catches by a rookie.[66] In Week 3, a 27–22 victory over the Houston Texans, he recorded 82 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, and five receptions for 35 receiving yards.[67] The following week, in a loss to the New Orleans Saints, he recorded another game with 100 scrimmage yards with 44 rushing yards and 56 receiving yards to go along with a rushing touchdown.[68] In Week 5, against the Carolina Panthers, he recorded four receptions for 81 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns to go along with 48 rushing yards in the 33–31 loss.[69] During Thursday Night Football against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 6, Barkley finished with 130 rushing yards, including a 50-yard touchdown, along with 99 receiving yards, totaling 229 all-purpose yards as the Giants lost 34–13.[70] In Week 11 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Barkley rushed for a career-high 142 yards and scored 3 touchdowns as the Giants won 38–35,[71][72] and for his efforts he was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week.[73] In Week 12's 25–22 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Barkley rushed for 101 yards and scored a 51-yard touchdown, becoming the first player since John Fuqua in 1970 to rush for two 50-plus yard touchdowns against the Eagles in a single season.[74][75] In Week 13 against the Chicago Bears, Barkley had 125 rushing yards and three receptions for 21 yards in the 30–27 overtime win.[76][77] During Week 14, in the Giants' 40–16 win over the Washington Redskins, Barkley rushed for 170 yards, including a 78-yard touchdown, becoming the first Giants' rookie to surpass 1,000 rushing yards, and setting a franchise single-season record for rookies with 13 touchdowns.[78] In the regular season finale against the Dallas Cowboys, he had 17 carries for 109 yards, his seventh game with over 100 rushing yards on the season, and a touchdown in the 36–35 loss.[79] In recognition of his phenomenal, record-breaking rookie season, Barkley was elected to the 2019 Pro Bowl, where he helped the NFC win the Skills Showdown.[80]

Barkley received numerous award during and after his rookie season including; Pepsi Rookie of the Year,[81] FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year,[82] AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year[83] and was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team and AP All-Rookie teams.[84]

Career statisticsEdit

Season Team Games Rushing Receiving Fumbles
GP GS Att Yards Avg Lng TD Rec Yards Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2018 NYG 16 16 261 1,307 5.0 78T 11 91 721 7.9 57T 4 0 0
Total 16 16 261 1,307 5.0 78T 11 91 721 7.9 57 4 0 0

Awards and honorsEdit

RecordsEdit

Franchise records:

  • Most rushing touchdowns by a rookie – 11 touchdowns[87]
  • Most rushing yards by a rookie – 1,307 yards[88]
  • Most touchdowns in a season by a rookie – 15 touchdowns[89]

NFL records:

  • Most 100+ yards from scrimmage games by a rookie – 12 games[90]
  • Most scrimmage yards by a rookie – 2,028 (led NFL)[91]
  • Most 50+ yard touchdowns by a rookie – 5 (tied with Randy Moss)[92]
  • Most receptions by a rookie running back – 91 receptions[87]

Personal lifeEdit

Barkley is the son of Alibay Barkley and Tonya Johnson. He has three brothers and two sisters. His great uncle is former WBC middleweight champion Iran Barkley.[93]

On March 9, 2018, the Pennsylvania House Chamber voted in favor of making Wednesday March 14 "Saquon Barkley Day" in Pennsylvania. Barkley attended the Pennsylvania State Capitol on March 14 and addressed the House. And on March 29, 15 days later Barkley and his family participated in a parade through his hometown of Coplay, Pennsylvania that included the Whitehall High School marching band and kids from the league where Barkley played youth football. The parade drew an estimated 5,000 parade goers. City and parade officials said: "We wanted him to know he has his hometown behind him no matter where he goes.”[94][95]

Barkley has a daughter with his girlfriend, Anna Congdon.[96]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit