Saquon Barkley

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Saquon Barkley
refer to caption
Barkley in 2018
No. 26 – New York Giants
Position: Running back
Personal information
Born: (1997-02-07) February 7, 1997 (age 21)
Bronx, New York
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 233 lb (106 kg)
Career information
High school: Whitehall
(Whitehall, Pennsylvania)
College: Penn State
NFL Draft: 2018 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 3, 2018
Rushing attempts: 46
Rushing yards: 216
Rushing touchdowns: 2
Receptions: 21
Receiving yards: 137
Receiving touchdowns: 0
Player stats at

Saquon Barkley (/ˈskwɒn/; born February 7, 1997) is an American football running back for the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Penn State for three seasons, running for 3,843 yards with 43 rushing touchdowns, while garnering 1,195 receiving yards with 8 touchdown receptions.

He totaled 5,557 all-purpose yards in his three-year collegiate career. Barkley received national attention and finished fourth in Heisman trophy voting with 304 total votes and third in Maxwell Award voting. He also received multiple national and Big Ten Conference awards and recognition. During Barkley’s three-year collegiate career, he broke and set numerous Penn State Records including most rushing touchdowns in a career, most rushing yards by a freshman and sophomore as well as most total yards in a single game. Barkley was drafted with the second overall pick by the Giants in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Early years[edit]

Barkley was born in the Bronx, New York. He grew up a New York Jets fan idolizing running back Curtis Martin. Boxing talent ran in the Barkley family. Barkley's father, Alibay was a strong amateur boxer and Barkley is the nephew of Iran Barkley. Barkley and his family moved to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in search of a safer and more suburban environment in his youth.[1] Barkley attended Whitehall High School in Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania, which competes in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference (PIAA).

At Whitehall, Barkley rushed for 3,646 yards with 63 touchdowns from his sophomore to senior year, including 1,856 yards and 31 touchdowns as a senior.[2] Barkley was rated as a four-star recruit and committed to Penn State University to play college football.[3][4] He originally committed to Rutgers before changing to Penn State.[5]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight 40 Commit date
Saquon Barkley
Coplay, PA Whitehall HS 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) 233 lb (106 kg) 4.41 Feb 19, 2014 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:4/5 stars   247Sports:4/5 stars    ESPN grade: 80
Overall recruiting rankings:
  • ‡ Refers to 40 yard dash
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height, weight and 40 time.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.


College career[edit]

Freshman year[edit]

Barkley earned immediate playing time as a true freshman at Penn State in 2015.[6] After rushing for one yard on one carry during his first game, he rushed for 115 yards with a touchdown in his second game.[7] In October, he missed two games due to injury.[8] In his first game back against no. 1 Ohio State, he rushed for 194 yards on 26 carries.[9][10] During his first year, Barkley had 182 carries for 1,076 yards and seven touchdowns during the 2015 Penn State football season campaign.

During the offseason, Barkley received large amounts of praise for his excellent freshman year. He was awarded second-team All-Big Ten (getting votes for the first team) and Freshman of the Year.

Sophomore year[edit]

Barkley with Penn State in 2017.

In the first game of his sophomore campaign, Barkley rushed for 105 yards and a touchdown in a 33–13 win over Kent State.[11] In week two, in a renewed rivalry game against Pitt, Penn State trailed at one point in the second quarter 28–7. Barkley scored five touchdowns, his fifth coming with 5:00 left in the fourth quarter, to bring the Nittany Lions within three points. Unfortunately, quarterback Trace McSorley threw an interception in the Pitt end zone with 1:41 left, that denied the Nittany Lions' hopes of completing the comeback.[12] In week five against Minnesota, in what would become a recurring theme for the 2016 Penn State football team, Penn State had to come back from another halftime deficit. In overtime, on Penn State's first play, Barkley ended the game with a 25-yard touchdown run. Before that carry, Minnesota had held him to only 38 yards on 19 carries.[13] In week six against Maryland, Barkley had his first ever 200-yard rushing game in college. He finished with 31 carries for 202 yards and one touchdown.[14] In week seven, in a matchup versus Ohio State, Barkley rushed for 99 yards on 12 carries with a long of 37 in a 24–21 win over the no. 2 Buckeyes.[15] In week eight, Barkley and no. 24 Penn State scored a season high 62 points versus Purdue. Barkley achieved a career-high 207 rushing yards with a career-high long of 81 yards and two touchdowns, along with 70 yards of receiving, giving him a total of 277 yards on the day. Penn State defeated Purdue 62–24 and improved to 6–2 and 4–1 in Big Ten play.[16]

On November 1, 2016, it was announced Barkley was named a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award.[17] On November 5, Barkley rushed for 167 yards and one touchdown versus Iowa. He added 44 yards and another TD in the air, for a total of 211 all-purpose yards in the 41–14 win.[18]

After the regular season, Barkley was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, Ameche–Dayne Running Back of the Year and First Team All-Big Ten.[19]

On December 3, 2016, Barkley had 19 carries for 83 yards, rushed for one touchdown, and caught another touchdown on a wheel route. His efforts helped Penn State recover from a 28–7 deficit to stun Wisconsin, 38–31, in the 2016 Big Ten Championship Game.[20]

During the 2017 Rose Bowl, Barkley added 25 carries for 194 yards, at 7.8 yards per carry, as well as a 79-yard touchdown that gave Penn State a 28–27 lead. Penn State at one point had trailed 20–7 in the second quarter but then scored seven touchdowns on seven consecutive possessions, including four touchdowns on four consecutive offensive plays, including Barkley's 79-yard touchdown. Barkley would score the first, fourth, and seventh touchdowns for Penn State, giving the Nittany Lions a 49–35 lead in the fourth quarter, but ultimately USC won the game, 52–49.[21]

Barkley has set the Penn State record for rushing yards in a season by a freshman (1,076) and by a sophomore (1,496).

Junior year[edit]

In the first game of the season against Akron, Barkley had 14 rushes for 172 yards, two touchdowns, and a long run of 80 yards. He also recorded 54 receiving yards on two catches. For his efforts, Barkley was named co-Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week.[22]

In the 2017 Big Ten opener, the Nittany Lions visited the Iowa Hawkeyes. In the 21–19 win, Barkley had a total of 358 all-purpose yards. He also set a program record for most yards in a single game. Barkley finished the game with 211 rushing yards and a touchdown, 94 receiving yards, and 53 kick return yards.[23] For his efforts, Barkley was again named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week.[24]

In the first Big Ten home game of his junior campaign against the Indiana Hoosiers, Barkley rushed for 56 yards on 20 carries, an underproductive day for him. Despite this, he had 4 catches for 51 yards, he returned the opening kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, and threw a 16-yard pass to DaeSean Hamilton late in the fourth quarter to cap off a 45–14 win. Barkley became the first player in Big Ten history to score a return and passing touchdown in the same game.[25] For his efforts, Barkley was named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week.[25] On December 31, 2017, about 24 hours after the team's 2017 Fiesta Bowl win, Barkley declared his intentions to enter the draft.[26]

College statistics[edit]

Season Team G Rushing Receiving Kickoff Return Passing
Att Yds Avg Long TD Rec Yds Avg Long TD KR Yds Long TD Comp Att Yards TD
2015 Penn State 11 182 1,076 5.9 56 7 20 161 8.1 32 0 1 12 12 0 0 0 0 0
2016 Penn State 14 272 1,496 5.5 81T 18 28 402 14.4 44T 5 4 84 33 0 0 0 0 0
2017 Penn State 13 217 1,271 5.9 92T 18 54 632 11.7 85T 3 14 423 98T 2 2 2 36 1
Career 38 672 3,843 5.7 92T 43 102 1,195 11.7 85T 8 19 519 98T 2 2 2 36 1

Awards and honors[edit]


Penn State

  • Most career rushing touchdowns – 43
  • Most rushing yards by a freshman – 1,076 yards
  • Most rushing yards by a sophomore – 1,496 yards
  • Most total yards in a single game – 358 yards
  • First player to score a return and passing touchdown in the same game

Professional career[edit]

On December 31, 2017, Barkley who was a projected top 10 pick by many, declared his intentions to enter the 2018 NFL Draft.[26] In the weeks leading up to the NFL Combine Barkley’s stock rose even higher. By late February, mock drafts projected him as the second pick selection overall,[28] the highest for a running back since Reggie Bush in 2006. Mel Kiper Jr., who has history of being against drafting running backs in the first round, said “Barkley is a once in a lifetime talent, teams that pass on this young man will be sorry.”[29] At the combine, Barkley had a widely praised performance, running a 4.40 sec 40-yard dash and pressing 225 pounds for 29 reps, tying for the most reps at the running back position.[30] According to Ian Rapoport, the Cleveland Browns were "strongly considering" drafting Barkley first overall, which would have made him the first running back since Ki-Jana Carter in 1995 to go first overall.[31]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 0 in
(1.83 m)
233 lb
(106 kg)
31 38 in
(0.80 m)
9 12 in
(0.24 m)
4.40 s 1.54 s 2.57 s 4.24 s 41 in
(1.04 m)
29 reps
All values from NFL Combine.[32] Highlights of Barkley's performance on YouTube

The New York Giants drafted Barkley as the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.[33] On July 22, 2018, Barkley signed a four-year deal worth $31.2 million fully guaranteed featuring a $20.76 million signing bonus with $15 million of the bonus received immediately (remaining bonus received in October).[34]

He scored his first NFL touchdown in week 1 of the 2018 season against the Jacksonville Jaguars.[35] The following week, in a 20–13 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Barkley set a Giants franchise record for catches in a game, with 14. He also tied the NFL single game record for catches by a rookie.[36]

Personal life[edit]

Barkley is the son of Alibay Barkley and Tonya Johnson. He has two brothers, Rashard Johnson and Ali Barkley, and two sisters, Shaquona and Aliyah Barkley. His great uncle is former WBC middleweight champion Iran Barkley.[37]

On March 9, 2018 it was announced the Pennsylvania House Chamber voted in favor of making Wednesday March 14 "Saquon Barkley Day" in Pennsylvania. Barkley attended the Pennsylvania State Capitol on March 14 and addressed the House. And on March 29, ten days later Barkley and his family participated in a parade through his hometown of Coplay, Pennsylvania that included the Whitehall High School marching band and kids from the league where Barkley played youth football. The parade drew an estimated 5,000 parade goers. City and parade officials said: "We wanted him to know he has his hometown behind him no matter where he goes.”[38][39]

Barkley has a daughter, Jada Clare Barkley, with his girlfriend, Anna Congdon. She was born on April 24, 2018, two days before Barkley was drafted by the New York Giants.[40][41]


  1. ^ Wogenrich, Mark (December 16, 2016). "Born to Run: Saquon Barkley's journey from the Bronx to Pennsylvania to Penn State to Pasadena". Morning Call. Allentown, Pennsylvania. Retrieved April 25, 2018. 
  2. ^ Call, The Morning. "How running back Saquon Barkley, from Whitehall H.S., can contribute quickly for Penn State". Retrieved September 30, 2016. 
  3. ^ "". Retrieved September 30, 2016. 
  4. ^ "A tale of two flipped recruits: Penn State's Saquon Barkley and Maryland's Adam McLean". Retrieved September 30, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Rutgers recruiting: Saquon Barkley, four-star RB, officially flips from Rutgers to Penn State". Retrieved September 30, 2016. 
  6. ^ Call, The Morning. "Freshman Saquon Barkley gets the 'green light' for Penn State; teammate calls him 'electric'". Retrieved September 30, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Barkley rushes for 115 yards in Penn State's win". Reading Eagle. Reading, Pennsylvania. Retrieved September 30, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Is Penn State's Saquon Barkley ready to play vs. Ohio State? James Franklin says it's not his call to make". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved September 30, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Penn State's Saquon Barkley puts up huge numbers against No. 1 Ohio State". Retrieved September 30, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Saquon Barkley provides spark in Penn State's offense". Retrieved September 30, 2016. 
  11. ^ "ESPN Box Score Penn State 33, Kent State 13". ESPN. 
  12. ^ "ESPN Box Score Pittsburgh 42, Penn State 39". ESPN. 
  13. ^ "ESPN Game Recap Penn State 29, Minnesota 26". ESPN. 
  14. ^ "ESPN Box Score Penn State 38, Maryland 14". ESPN. 
  15. ^ "ESPN Box Score, Penn State 24, Ohio State 21". ESPN. 
  16. ^ "No. 24 Penn State romps Purdue 62-24". USA Today. Retrieved October 29, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Saquon Barkley Named Maxwell Award Semifinalistm". Black Shoe Diaries. Retrieved November 1, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Barkley and PSU beat Iowa". Retrieved November 6, 2016. 
  19. ^ "2016 Big Ten Individual Award Winners" (PDF). Big Ten Conference. November 30, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016. 
  20. ^ "ESPN Box Score, Penn State 38, Wisconsin 31". ESPN. 
  21. ^ "ESPN Box Score, USC 52, Penn State 49". ESPN. 
  22. ^ Callahan, Andrew (September 4, 2017). "Barkley named co-Big Ten offensive player of the week". Lions247. Retrieved September 4, 2017. 
  23. ^ "Iowa vs Penn State - ESPN box score". September 23, 2017. Retrieved September 24, 2017. 
  24. ^ Report, Morning Call Staff. "Saquon Barkley named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week". Retrieved September 25, 2017. 
  25. ^ a b Slanina, Jared (October 2, 2017). "DaeSean Hamilton, Saquon Barkley Earn B1G Player of the Week Honors". Black Shoe Diaries. Retrieved October 2, 2017. 
  26. ^ a b Goodbread, Chase. "Penn State RB Saquon Barkley intends to enter 2018 draft". NFL. Retrieved December 31, 2017. 
  27. ^ "Saquon Barkley ESPN stats". Retrieved December 31, 2017. 
  28. ^ "2018 Pre-combine NFL mock draft". Fox59. February 26, 2018. 
  29. ^ Pat McManamon (February 22, 2018). "Mel Kiper sees scenario where Browns take Saquon Barkley first, QB fourth". ESPN. Retrieved February 22, 2018. 
  30. ^ Chase Goodbread (March 1, 2018). "Saquon Barkley totals 29 reps on bench press". Retrieved March 1, 2018. 
  31. ^ Patra, Kevin (March 5, 2018). "Browns could select RB Saquon Barkley No. 1 overall". 
  32. ^ "NFL Events: Combine Player Profile - Saquon Barkley". March 2, 2018. Retrieved March 2, 2018. 
  33. ^ Rosenthal, Gregg (April 26, 2018). "Giants select RB Saquon Barkley with No. 2 pick". 
  34. ^ "Saquon Barkley signs four-year, $31.2M rookie deal". Retrieved 2018-09-12. 
  35. ^ "Saquon Barkley scores his first NFL touchdown on a long run". New York Giants. Retrieved 2018-09-12. 
  36. ^ Birch, Matt (September 17, 2018). "Rookie RB Saquon Barkley sets Giants record in loss". Retrieved 2018-09-25. 
  37. ^ "Saquon Barkley biography - Personal". GoPSUsports. Retrieved February 22, 2018. 
  38. ^ "'Saquon Barkley Day' coming to Pennsylvania in March — along with a hometown parade". The Morning Call. February 21, 2018. Retrieved March 12, 2018. 
  39. ^ "'Saquon Barkley Day' to be declared in Pennsylvania". The Morning Call. Steve Esack. March 9, 2018. Retrieved March 12, 2018. 
  40. ^ "Saquon Barkley's GF Announces Her Pregnancy, Due Just a Week Before NFL Draft". Total Pro Sports. March 18, 2018. Retrieved April 21, 2018. 
  41. ^ "Saquon Barkley Welcomes Daughter Just Before NFL Draft". Onward State. April 24, 2018. Retrieved April 24, 2018. 

External links[edit]