Former Penn State football running back Saquon Barkley officially wrapped up his rookie season with yet another accomplishment.
The Penn State football program is currently on a roll. As they started off the dead period of the offseason with a wave of new commitments, they also are proud to see what else their former superstar has accomplished after a tremendous rookie season in the NFL. As we know, PSU is known to be ‘Linebacker U,’ but perhaps they could throw in ‘Running Back U’ as well.
Over the last four years, the Nittany Lions were blessed with two excellent running backs, who have very bright futures in the NFL. Their most recent star was Miles Sanders, who became a second-round selection by the Philadelphia Eagles after starting one season. But by far the most popular back to come out of Happy Valley in recent times is undoubtedly Saquon Barkley.
Last year, Barkley was in discussions for potentially become the number one overall pick in the draft. Although the Cleveland Browns went in a different direction, the New York Giants lucked up with Barkley with the No. 2 pick. Many said the Giants were making a mistake, but so far Barkley has given them nothing to regret so far after a miraculous start to his NFL career.
A look back at the journey…
After wrapping up his third season with the Penn State Nittany Lions, Saquon Barkley entered the 2018 NFL Combine with 3,843 yards and 43 touchdowns on the ground. In the passing game, he collected 1,195 yards and eight total touchdowns. All of which occurred during his three seasons with the Nittany Lions. His production was enough to make him a first-round pick, but his personality and skillset that he displayed in front of NFL scouts made him a top-three choice.
As expected, Barkley found himself placed as the number one running back on the depth chart when he joined the Giants in 2018. While it was obvious he was going to be an important piece for the Giants 2018 season, we weren’t exactly sure just how much he was going to be utilized. But knowing how good Barkley is, nobody was surprised to see just how much he produced during his first season with the pros. Barkley finished with over 2,000 scrimmage yards, and 15 total scores.
Barkley became a fan favorite in the NFL not only within New York but all around the league. His popularity in year one earned him his first Pro Bowl honors. And to help the fans stand correct, Barkley was voted as a First-Team All-Pro for the running back position. Before the 2018 NFL season officially wrapped up, Barkley would also find out he was the Rookie of the Year.
It’s been a few months since Barkley last took the stage to collect his ROTY honors, but the awards from his rookie season didn’t just stop within the NFL honors. On Wednesday, Barkley was in Los Angeles for the ESPYS, where he was up for the Breakthrough Player of the Year award. And once again, Barkley won, and just keeps on stacking up his professional accomplishments.
At this point, it’s become evident that Barkley is the real deal. After three very productive seasons in the NCAA, Barkley still had question marks around his game while entering the NFL. Now, there’s no debate about it. He’s easily one of the most talented backs in the game. Sure, he’s only got one year in the books, but a Sophomore slump doesn’t seem to be in Barkley’s blood. After all, his Sophomore season in college was his best after he exploded onto the scene as a Freshman. The New York Giants surely got a great one.