It’s been a whirlwind weekend — and season — for Penn State’s beloved running back Saquon Barkley.
On Saturday, the Nittany Lions became Fiesta Bowl champions over the Washington Huskies, including an incredible 92-yard score from Barkley. On Sunday, Barkley announced he will forgo his senior season of collegiate eligibility to declare for the 2018 NFL Draft. On Monday, he appeared live from Pasadena, California on ESPN’s College GameDay ahead of the Rose Bowl to discuss his career and his decision to leave the program.
First and foremost, Barkley said he made the decision for his family, who’ve made so many sacrifices for him over the years.
“I promised my mom when I was a little kid that I was going to buy her a house one day, and I’m going to stay true to that promise,” Barkley said. “God blessed me with the opportunity to play, to live my dream.”
Barkley will enter the NFL Draft in April with a strong chance to be one of the top picks of 2018. ESPN analysts asked him why he should be the No. 1 pick of the draft.
“I think I’m a versatile player,” Barkley said. “I think I can do it all. I think I’ve put on film that I’m more than just a running back.”
He also said he believes he’s a great teammate and a great leader, and has the ability to impact the game in different ways, even when he doesn’t have the ball.
As for his legacy with the Nittany Lions, Barkley won’t stop short of greatness, and he hopes to continue representing Penn State at the next level.
“I wanted to go out as one of the best,” he said. “I wanted to be remembered as one of the best players to come out of Penn State.”