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Saquon Barkley’s Personality Shines Through In ESPN’s ‘Hey Rookie’

Saquon Barkley has NFL scouts excited, and for good reason. Barkley is widely considered the best prospect in the NFL Draft class of 2018, and he’s got lots of eyes on him. ESPN is even documenting his journey after college in the network’s series “Hey Rookie, Welcome to the NFL,” which follows rookies from their pre-draft work to their game-time experience.

The first installment of the series focused on both Barkley and Nick Chubb, the standout defensive end from North Carolina State. Gil Brandt opened up the show by telling Barkley he was the first man to be invited to the NFL Draft and that he’d be the next Marshall Faulk. What a way to kick things off.

In the opening segment of the episode, fans saw a flurry of Barkley’s most spectacular runs, including his Rose Bowl touchdown run and his leap in Penn State’s nail-biting win over Iowa.

“If you think I’m the best player in the draft, take me,” Barkley said. Putting together runs like this, his body of work speaks for itself.

What was perhaps most striking about the episode was the Penn State legend’s personality shining through. Barkley was super excited to see Robert Griffin III during his workouts in Florida. He wore a big smile as he went on and on about how much respect he had for the Baylor star’s game at quarterback — not to mention his 4.41 40-yard dash time.

“I’m fangirling, I gotta cool it,” Barkley said of RG3. His appreciation of another superb college football player and his obvious passion and love for football was abundantly clear throughout the 30-minute TV spot.

Barkley then faced his fears with a trip to Gatorland, cracking jokes the whole time alongside Penn State teammate Marcus Allen. From petting gators to shooting raw meat into their mouths like a basketball shot, No. 26 was definitely having a great time and was entertaining to watch.

Barkley even started getting fitted for his draft day attire when the episode came to a close. Next week, fans of the Blue and White can expect some Combine action, during which (spoiler alert) Barkley made a splash. The second installation of the series will air at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 17 on ESPN2.

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About the Author

Derek Bannister

Derek is a senior majoring in Economics and History. He is legally required to tell you that he's from right outside of Philly. Email Derek compliments and dad-jokes at [email protected].

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