Saquon Barkley’s resume became even more robust on Wednesday when Bruce Feldman of SI.com ranked him first on his annual list of the most athletic freaks in college football. He’s such a freak, that he’ll be on Sport Science this fall. Of course, we always knew that the rising junior running back is a freak of nature and didn’t need an official ranking to convince us of his unreal capability on the gridiron.
However, since Feldman’s rankings are pretty subjective, we came up with five reasons why Barkley is the freakiest freak out there to dispel all the arguments that Michigan fans, who just finally shut up about Jabrill Peppers’ versatility, may make that Rashan Gary (No. 5 on the list) is the Big Ten’s premier athlete.
- He cleans 405 lbs
Just last week, Barkley broke his own power clean program record when he repped 405 pounds and sent the entire weight room into a frenzy. Although he had the raucous support of teammate Marcus Allen as motivation, mind you, he is only 223 pounds and cleaned nearly double his weight.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 29, 2017
Barkley is the only player in the top five who plays offense with three defensive linemen each weighing over 270 lbs. and a hard-hitting safety rounding out the top of the list. To be in that company, he must be doing a little more than all-time great running back Herschel Walker’s push-ups only regimen.
- He put USC’s defense “in a blender”
If Barkley’s disproportionate strength doesn’t say freak, then maybe his 72-yard, juke-filled rushing touchdown will scream it. This shifty run highlights Barkley’s skillset as a running back, where is able to beat entire defenses with his speed, power, and elusiveness.
Barkley just put the entire Trojans defense in a blender https://t.co/bqoHfUFgch
— Barstool Sports (@barstooltweetss) January 3, 2017
For those keeping score at home, there are eight missed tackles at that Madden-esque play from him delivering the hit stick or hitting circle on his controller.
- He “cooked” TJ Watt…on a wheel route
This Twitter favorite among Penn State fans uses more kitchen-themed figurative language to describe Barkley’s ability on the field. He
beatcooked future first rounder TJ Watt one-on-one off sheer speed alone.
— Justin Woodruff (@WoodJustRuff) June 25, 2017
While everyone hypes up his jaw-dropping performances in the weight room, don’t let that distract you from the fact that he runs a 4.33 40-yard dash. Because he is so strong and so fast, Barkley gives offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead so many options on how to use him, especially in the passing game, where he was a nearly unstoppable weapon downfield.
- That time he hurdled someone
Sure, anyone can train hard enough to be able to clean 405 lbs. and run what would’ve been the fastest 40-time at the 2017 NFL Draft Combine. But hurdling defenders is one thing that Barkley excels at that isn’t so easy to replicate.
Saquon is always up to something. pic.twitter.com/thDQwz96eN
— Onward State (@OnwardState) October 9, 2016
You’re on a deserted island and Saquon Barkley needs to score a touchdown to save your life. Would you rather get hurdled, be laid out, juked out, put in a blender, or cooked on a wheel route? Your choice, he does them all; pick your poison.
- Oh yeah, all those other times
Whether you want to call it flying or falling with style, hurdling is something that Barkley has done his entire Penn State career, even as an underrated true freshman. He grabbed college football’s attention when he took flight for the first time against Buffalo in his coming out party and has not relinquished it since then.
Penn State has something going with true freshman Saquon Barkley at RB. What a hurdle. pic.twitter.com/zNHx3L0QeM
— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) September 12, 2015
Play 3: Barkley has very good patience to allow blocks to develop on outside zone, then athleticism to hurdle pile and a quick burst upfield pic.twitter.com/rnQmtsqfPT
— Logan Bryson (@LoganBryson8) June 2, 2017
Barkley Leap! pic.twitter.com/LBQ53rQsPQ
— Ⓗⓐⓢⓗ (@HashTagPSU) October 18, 2015