PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Hello World: Saquon Barkley Addresses The Media For The First Time

No, Saquon Barkley didn’t utter the phrase Tiger Woods made famous during a 1996 press conference, but he might as well have given the hype surrounding his first-ever media appearance. It’s a time-honored tradition at Penn State for freshmen to be withheld from the media with Christian Hackenberg being a notable exception, so the only Barkley we knew was the 18-year old we saw carving up defenses week after week. But after Wednesday’s practice session, that changed.

World, meet Saquon Barkley.

Dana4th-15 saquon barkley

Admittedly a little nervous (and visibly shivering given the unseasonably chilly temperatures at the team’s practice field), Barkley gave the media a peek inside his mind after a life-changing freshman season in which he ran for 1,076 yards, seven touchdowns, and broke D.J. Dozier’s 32-year old freshman rushing record. Despite the immediate success he experienced, Barkley was humble as he discussed the aspirations he had for his first year. “Realistically, I just wanted to start as a true freshman,” Barkley said. “I never thought I would have a 1,000 yard rushing season.”

Success of such great magnitude can often creep inside the head of younger athletes, but through it all, Barkley’s remained the same goofy teenager he’s been all along despite all the attention. “I just try and block it out if it does happen,” Barkley said. “But I’m just a normal guy who likes to hang out with friends and stuff like that.”

Physically, Barkley is on another level. To put it one way, the guy is shredded. He arrived on campus fresh off his senior year of high school hovering around 220 pounds, and weight-wise he’s still in that neighborhood. But after a winter under the watchful eye of Director of Performance Enhancement Dwight Galt, Barkley’s grown leaps and bounds in terms of strength and speed since last season. Remember, that 4.38 40 yard dash he posted during winter workouts would’ve been the seventh fastest time at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine — and he’s only 19 years old. Barkley spoke on his physical condition after a successful offseason in Galt’s program.

“Physically I feel amazing, I mean coach Galt does a great job,” Barkley explained. “I’m the strongest I’ve ever been in my life, and the fastest I’ve ever been. It was new with the winter workouts and definitely different than what I’ve ever done before, but that helped me get better as a player physically, but also mentally. It helped me push myself past my limits.”

One simply cannot talk to Barkley without addressing the famous hurdle he executed over a Buffalo defender during the second game of the 2015 season. While the moment may have catapulted him into the national spotlight, that game served as a moment of realization for Barkley. “There was never a time when I thought I was ‘The Guy,'” Barkley said. “The Buffalo game is where I realized that I could actually play at this level, and that I could compete. That helped my confidence grow.”

Barkley spoke for a few more minutes after, touching on his relationship with teammates and whether or not he’s a better dancer than Mark Allen (Nick Scott says he’s the best of the three, for the record) before heading back into the locker room. The large media contingency on hand became a little more familiar with the player who could go down as one of the best running backs in school history if last season’s performance is any indication. But Barkley’s just a regular guy. He lets his play speak for himself, and has graciously accepted a leadership role on an offense that desperately needs one.

Barkley is primed to do great things in 2016, but hopefully now fans have a better understanding of the type of person he is. Humble, driven, and passionate. But he’s just a normal college student like you and me; the only difference is he’s one of the best young running backs in the entire country.

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