PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Regardless Of The Outcome, Saquon Barkley’s Prowess Is Something To Be Cherished

Penn State entered The Horseshoe as huge underdogs in a game not many expected it to win. For a while, the Lions hung around, inspiring hope as they tried to dethrone the reigning National Champions. Well, things soured fairly quickly after a pair of quick J.T. Barrett scores, coupled with momentum-crippling offensive stagnation in the most dire times. Regardless of what the final score read, one thing should remain clear; Saquon Barkley, at just 18-years old, is special, and his unique abilities are meant to be cherished.

James Franklin and his staff did their homework in the week leading up to last night’s showdown in Columbus. Ohio State is stout across the spectrum, flashing a dominant pass defense that rendered Christian Hackenberg helpless in certain situations — especially when faced with make-or-break fourth down scenarios. But in the area where the Buckeyes showed weakness, Penn State made sure to exploit it in every way imaginable. Struggling against opposing rushing attacks all season long, Franklin unleashed Barkley onto the Buckeye defense for a grand total of 26 carries for 194 yards and a staggering 7.5 yards per carry. The performance should’ve dispelled any doubt that Barkley’s early success was a mere product of the lesser opponents he faced in the early weeks of the season. Let me make this perfectly clear; Barkley stepped onto the field against the No. 1 team in the country and hung 194 while breaking off a number of dazzling runs. Had it not been for a blatant hold, that total would’ve ended up well in the 200s.

It’s not the sheer magnitude of Barkley’s performance that should be admired, however. It’s the fact that Penn State would’ve been worse off by a large margin had it not been for the presence of the 18-year old phenom. To have such a profound impact on the offense each time he touches the ball is a quality only great players possess, and to have that quality as a freshman is on a level of its own.

Barkley’s teammates — specifically his offensive linemen — are taking notice of what the dazzling freshman can do on a weekly basis, and understand how important he is to the team’s overall success.

“We’re never surprised at what he can do, and I believe that we have some of the best backs in the nation,” said Brendan Mahon. “I’ve said this before, their work ethic shows throughout the week, and it definitely shows on Saturdays when they play. For a guy like Saquon to bust runs like that, it just becomes a great tool to success.”

Fellow offensive lineman Andrew Nelson shared a similar sentiment, reiterating the remarkable impact Barkley can have on a weekly basis.

“That guy’s a great player, and he’s going to do great things for Penn State,” Nelson said. “We’re very thankful for him, and he’s a make-it-right kind guy in that he might not get everything blocked exactly, but he can make you right and make people miss. He’s definitely an explosive player and we’re just so thankful for him.”

That speaks volumes about both a player’s character and ability when veteran leaders speak so highly of somebody so inexperienced and young, but that just shows the type of person Barkley is. He has a seemingly infinite ceiling, and flashes traits of some of the greatest backs to ever come through the Penn State program. But he’s a special talent that shouldn’t be taken for granted. To be able to throw up ludicrous numbers against a mid-major school is one thing, but to record video game-like stats on the reigning National Champions is on a whole new level.

Saquon Barkley’s journey is only just beginning, but he won’t be here forever. Take each game as a new adventure, and just sit back and enjoy the spectacle. I have a feeling Barkley is destined for greatness on the gridiron, and just like his teammates, we should all be thankful for him.

About the Author

David Abruzzese

David is a senior from Rochester, NY, nestled right in beautiful Western New York. He is majoring in Broadcast Journalism, and as an avid sports fan, he passionately supports the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. He is the first Penn Stater from his family, and couldn’t be prouder to represent Penn State University. In his free time, he likes to alpine ski, and play golf. You can follow him on Twitter @abruz11, and can contact him via email at [email protected]

Comments

More by David

So Long, And Goodnight: David Abruzzese’s Senior Column

It’s been a hell of a ride, folks. Senior staffer David Abruzzese rides off into the sunset with his senior column.

Saquon Barkley Mum On NFL Future; Relishes Fiesta Bowl Opportunity

DOTD: Nittany Lion Catches Pass At Fiesta Bowl

Athletics

Former Cal Swimmer Says She Emailed Sandy Barbour About Sexual Harassment Claims

Longtime Cal athletics employee Mohamed Muqtar was accused by seven former Golden Bears student-athletes of sexual violence and harassment dating back 20 years prior to his firing on May 11. An internal investigation from the school substantiated those claims.

Max Sauve Commits To Penn State Hockey

Penn State Women’s Volleyball Releases 2018 Schedule

Penn State Hoops Alumnus Joonas Suotamo’s Journey To Becoming Chewbacca Featured On ESPN’s ‘E:60’

Evaluating Tony Carr’s Performance At The 2018 NBA Draft Combine

Student Life

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Career Services To Launch Integrated Career Management & Recruiting Platform

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

State Theatre Recognized As A State College Historic Site

As it approaches the 80th anniversary of its opening, the State Theatre has been recognized as a State College historic site.

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Tom Beeby will serve as the 2019 Class Gift Executive Director.

Send this to a friend