Going into his junior season at Penn State, Saquon Barkley ran a 4.33 40 yard in the team’s recent winter work outs, supposedly. That’s always going to be debatable, but he’s definitely a fast and talented Running Back. With the loss of Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey, D’Onta Foreman, Samaje Perine and Elijah Hood from the college football ranks, Saquon Barkley is probably the best Running Back in college football for the 2017 season.
Competition could come from Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, Derrius Guice, Ralph Webb and Royce Freeman for the highest honors. But, for my money, Saquon Barkley is the best, at least going in to the season. Barkley
A 4.33 40 yard dash is always going to be impressive. If you are a 5-11, 180 Running Back, or Wide Receiver, or Defensive Back, this 40 time is very impressive. But, Barkley is 5-11, 225.
Not only does Barkley have speed, but he also has excellent strength and power. He’s got instincts
that all great backs have and good moves. His signature move is leaping over defenders, but tall buildings would also work instead of defenders.
Saquon Barkley is not super human. He has missed some playing time because of injuries, which clearly proves he’s not a second coming of Superman.
Barkley ran for over 1,800 yards as a high school senior at Whitehall High School in Whitehall, Pennsylvania. In spite of that, ESPN had Saquon Barkley rated as only their 24th best Running Back in the 2015 class. He was a 4 star recruit and the burst he showed in his highlight videos indicated that he was much faster than his listed speed of 4.7.
He wasn’t even the highest rated recruit in his Penn State class
Saquon Barkley came from an athletic family considering he is a nephew of Middleweight boxer, Iran Barkley. Going toe to toe with some of the best boxers in the history of the sport, he actually knocked out Thomas ‘the hitman’ Hearns. Hearns was one of the hardest punching non Heavyweights there ever was.
Barkley’s Penn State career got off to a big start after that first game against Temple when he carried the ball once for one yard in a Nittany Lion loss. Barkley got it going after that with two 100 yard
games in a row. He was injured and missed a couple of games.
Barkley was back just in time for the Ohio State and he responded with a 194 yard rushing night. Maryland and Michigan held him in check for the most part.
He finished his true freshman season with 182 carries for 1,076 yards and 7 Touchdowns. That’s not incredibly impressive in itself, but considering the Offensive Line issues the Nittany Lions have had in recent years.
Barkley didn’t receive the publicity of a few other stars because of the super talented group of Running Backs in the class of the year before.
Staying healthy the entire season in 2016, Barkley ran for 1,496 yards and 18 Touchdowns. For the best and the worst games, Barkley topped 200 yards rushing against Indiana and Purdue and he ran for 194 yards against USC. His worst game was shocking considering the Spartans finished 3-9 in 2016, but they held him to 14 yards rushing from 12 carries. Stranger still since Penn State beat them 45-12, but most of the damage was done by Trace McSorley with his 4 Touchdown passes.
With Leonard Fournette Dalvin Cook, D’onta Foreman and Christian McCaffrey declaring for the NFL Draft, Saquon Barkley emerges as THE guy. Nick Chubb at Georgia, or Royce Freeman at Oregon may give him a challenge, but for my money I am sticking with Saquon Barkley in 2017. Even if the 4.33 is not legit, the man can fly and he has proven it many times in the open field.