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Photo Story: Saquon Barkley’s Penn State Career

Saquon Barkley’s Penn State career came to a close in an epic Fiesta Bowl victory, with the junior running back declaring for the NFL draft the following evening.

Let’s take a look back at Barkley’s time in State College with a few of our favorite photos of No. 26.

It’s hard to imagine anyone but Barkley and his coaches knew what was coming during his first preseason media day at Beaver Stadium.

The hurdle that started it all. Barkley announced himself to the rest of the Big Ten early in the fourth quarter of a 27-14 win over Buffalo in the driving rain. He finished with his first 100-yard rushing game.

Barkley showed his supreme ability to put defenders in a washing machine with this unreal catch-and-run touchdown against San Diego State.

Though this touchdown was called back due to a holding penalty, and Penn State eventually lost to the Buckeyes 38-10, Barkley notched 194 rushing yards in Columbus, drawing praise from Zeke Elliott after the game. The future Dallas Cowboy said: “He’s definitely the truth.”

Barkley famously lost his cleat following this gravity defying leap into the end zone versus Illinois.

Barkley and Christian Hackenberg celebrate a touchdown on the road in Evanston, a tough 23-21 loss to Northwestern.

Barkley often put on a show in the Lasch Building weight room, routinely setting records for his ridiculous squats and power cleans.

In a Herculean effort, Barkley scored five touchdowns against Pitt in a 2016 loss at Heinz Field.

Barkley went airborne yet again versus Maryland a few weeks later, making defensive back William Likely eat turf.

Looks pretty Heisman-like to us.

Barkley made a habit of finding the end zone in creative ways during his Penn State career, scoring 54 touchdowns as a Nittany Lion.

Did someone say wheel route?

Barkley never forgot to thank the fans for their support. Here he is taking a lap around Lucas Oil Stadium after Penn State won the Big Ten championship.

Barkley’s all-world Rose Bowl didn’t finish in a victory, but that doesn’t mean it was any less spectacular.

Barkley somehow used a Pitt defender’s shadow to know which way he was coming. Of course he found his way to the end zone.

Barkley and Brandon Polk say, “I told you so” with a finger point versus Georgia State. After the game, Polk said he told Barkley he was “coming to get him” if he broke free for a long touchdown.

Barkley and DaeSean Hamilton celebrate their connection against Indiana, the first and only passing touchdown of Barkley’s career.

Barkley was named a captain prior to his junior season.

The Coplay, Pa., native’s tremendous hand-eye coordination was put on full display against Michigan during a White Out for the ages. He finished his college career as the lone Penn State running back to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards (1,195).

Barkley walked into the end zone for the game’s first points against Ohio State after returning the opening kickoff the distance.


Ever gracious in defeat, Barkley consoled teammate Amani Oruwariye after the loss to Michigan State.


The one-time Rutgers commit tallied 397 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns against the Scarlet Knights during his career.

We’re going to miss Barkley and Mike Gesicki’s touchdown celebrations.

There’s a reason Barkley and James Franklin flash the No. 1 sign all the time.

When someone says another running back is better than No. 26…

Barkley and Hamilton walked off the field in Glendale as champions.

Barkley is the best all-around running back prospect to enter the NFL draft in quite some time.

There will never be another like Barkley, a generational talent who’s just scratching the surface of his potential. NFL defenses will get a taste of what he can do next fall. He’ll be represented by Kim Miale of Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports for contract negotiation and marketing.


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About the Author

Ethan Kasales

Ethan’s a senior journalism major who grew up in Lemont, a few minutes from campus. When he’s not covering Penn State sports, you can usually find him golfing or teaching snowboarding at Tussey Mountain. Feel free to email him at [email protected]


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